Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, who commanded the U.S.-led forces that stormed to victory in the first Persian Gulf War against Iraq in 1991, has died at the age of 78. The New York Times called Schwarzkopf the "most acclaimed military hero since the midcentury exploits of Generals Dwight D. Eisenhower and Douglas MacArthur."

The retired general died on Thursday in Tampa, Florida, of complications from pneumonia.

Dubbed "Stormin' Norman," Schwarzkopf's leadership of a coalition of forces in Operation Desert Storm used air power to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi occupation, and routed Saddam Hussein’s Republican Guard and virtually destroyed Iraq’s infrastructure, all with relatively light allied losses, the New York Times recalled.

After a career that included two battlefield tours in Vietnam and coordination of American forces in the 1983 invasion of Grenada, he became an instant hero with the Gulf War victory, and was welcomed home with a ticker-tape parade on Broadway.

He lived out a quiet retirement in Tampa, where he had served his last military assignment and where an elementary school bearing his name is testament to his standing in the community, reported the Associated Press.

 Schwarzkopf with Colin Powell in 1991