General Schwarzkopf dies aged 78
Norman Schwarzkopf, the US army general whose forces defeated the Iraqi army in the 1991 Gulf War, has died at the age of 78.
The highly decorated four-star general died last night at his home in Tampa, Florida, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The cause of death was not immediately known.
Gen Schwarzkopf, a Vietnam War veteran known to his troops as “Stormin' Norman”, commanded more than 540,000 US troops and 200,000 allied forces in a six-week war that routed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's army from Kuwait in 1991, capping his 34-year military career.
Some experts hailed Gen Schwarzkopf's plan to trick and outflank Hussein's forces with a sweeping armoured movement as one of the great accomplishments in military history. The manoeuvre ended the ground war in only 100 hours.
In a statement released by the White House, president Barack Obama called Schwarzkopf "an American original" whose "legacy will endure in a nation that is more secure because of his patriotic service."
Former US president George Bush senior, who built the international coalition against Iraq after the invasion of Kuwait, said he and his wife "mourn the loss of a true American patriot and one of the great military leaders of his generation," according to a statement released by his spokesman.
Mr Bush has been hospitalized in Houston since late November.
Gen Schwarzkopf was a familiar sight on international television during the war, clad in camouflage fatigues and a cap.
Little known before Iraqi forces invaded neighbouring Kuwait, Gen Schwarzkopf made a splash with quotable comments. At one briefing he addressed Saddam's military reputation.
"As far as Saddam Hussein being a great military strategist," he said, "he is neither a strategist, nor is he schooled in the operational arts, nor is he a tactician, nor is he a general, nor is he a soldier. Other than that, he's a great military man. I want you to know that."
Gen Schwarzkopf returned from the war a hero and there was talk of him running for public office. Instead, he wrote an autobiography - "It Doesn't Take a Hero" - and served as a military analyst.
He also acted as a spokesman for the fight against prostate cancer, with which he was diagnosed in 1993.
Gen Schwarzkopf was born August 22nd, 1934, in Trenton, New Jersey, the son of Colonel H. Norman Schwarzkopf senior, the head of the New Jersey State Police.
At the time, the older Schwarzkopf was leading the investigation of the kidnapping and murder of aviator Charles Lindbergh's infant son, one of the most infamous crimes of the 20th century.