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By CNN Staff
updated 8:09 PM EST, Thu December 27, 2012
(CNN) -- Retired Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, who commanded coalition forces during the Gulf War, died Thursday, a U.S. official said. He was 78.
After Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, Schwarzkopf directed 700,000 coalition troops that engaged in a six-week air a.ssault of Iraqi forces in January 1991. That was followed by a swift ground campaign that pushed the Iraqis out of Kuwait.
Schwarzkopf went to the U.S. Military Academy and graduated in 1956, according to Britannica Online.
He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army. The officer served two tours of duty in Vietnam.
In 1988, Schwarzkopf was appointed commander of U.S. Central Command.
CNN's Barbara Starr contributed to this report.