WASHINGTON: Norman Schwarzkopf Jr, the hard-charging US Army general whose forces smashed the Iraqi army in the 1991 Gulf War, has died at the age of 78.
The highly decorated four-star general died at his home in Tampa, Florida. The cause of death was not immediately known.
Schwarzkopf, a burly 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.
Experts hailed 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.
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 H W Bush, 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".
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.