Retired U.S. General H. Norman Schwarzkopf has died in Tampa, Florida.

He passed away on Thursday (27Dec12), aged 78. The exact cause of his death was not known as Wenn went to press.

The Vietnam War veteran, nicknamed Stormin' Norman, commanded the international coalition that drove Saddam Hussein's forces out of Kuwait in 1991.

Schwarzkopf went to the U.S. Military Academy and graduated in 1956. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army and later served two tours of duty in Vietnam.

In 1988, Schwarzkopf was appointed commander of U.S. Central Command.

Former U.S. President George Bush, Snr., currently in intensive care in Houston, Texas, issued a statement mourning his former colleague.

He says, "Barbara and I mourn the loss of a true American patriot and one of the great military leaders of his generation. A distinguished member of that Long Gray Line hailing from West Point, General 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. More than that, he was a good and decent man - and a dear friend. Barbara and I send our condolences to his wife Brenda and his wonderful family."