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General H. Norman Schwarzkoph, the general who commanded coalition forces during the Persian Gulf War, died on Thursday, a U.S. official told the AP. He was 78. Schwarzkoph is best known for commanding Operation Desert Storm, the allied group of some 30 countries organized by President George H.W. Bush that drove Iraqis and Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. According to the AP, Schwarzkoph died in Tampa, Florida, where he was living in retirement.

Although former president Bush remains in intensive care, he and his wife issued a statement regarding Schwarzkoph's death:

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.

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