Retired Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, who commanded U.S. forces in the 1991 Gulf War, died in Tampa, Florida, of complications from pneumonia. He was 78.

The New Jersey native was known as "Stormin' Norman."

In 1988, the decorated Vietnam veteran was named chief of the U.S. Central Command and three years later led the allied forces, made up of troops from 30 countries, that expelled Saddam Hussein's Iraq from Kuwait in Operation Desert Storm.

Despite becoming a celebrity, Schwarzkopf retired from the Armed Forces in 1992, decided against entering politics and battled prostate cancer until successfully cured.

President Barack Obama said in a communique that the country has lost an "American original" whose "legacy will endure in a nation that is more secure because of his patriotic service."

Colin Powell, who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the war over Kuwait, described Schwarzkopf as a "good friend" and a Desert Storm hero. EFE