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Desert Storm leader Schwarzkopf dies


 Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf stands at ease with his tank troops during Operation Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia.
BOB DAUGHERTY/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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Date published: 12/28/2012

By LOLITA C. BALDOR AND RICHARD PYLE

Associated Press

WASHINGTON

--Retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, who topped an illustrious military career by commanding the U.S.-led international coalition that drove Saddam Hussein's forces out of Kuwait in 1991 but kept a low public profile in controversies over the second Gulf War against Iraq, died Thursday. He was 78.

Schwarzkopf died in Tampa, Fla., where he had lived in retirement, according to a U.S. official, who was not authorized to release the information publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

A much-decorated combat soldier in Vietnam, Schwarzkopf was known popularly as "Stormin' Norman" for a notoriously explosive temper.

He served in his last military assignment in Tampa as commander-in-chief of U.S. Central Command, the headquarters responsible for U.S. military and security concerns in nearly 20 countries.

When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait to punish it for allegedly stealing Iraqi oil reserves, he commanded Operation Desert Storm, the coalition of some 30 countries organized by then-President George H.W. Bush that succeeded in driving the Iraqis out.

"Gen. Norm Schwarzkopf, to me, epitomized the 'duty, service, country' creed that has defended our freedom and seen this great nation through our most trying international crises," Bush said in a statement. "More than that, he was a good and decent man--and a dear friend."