STORIES
Peacemakers

H. Norman Schwarzkopf

by Alan from Montvale


Norman Schwarzkopf was born in Trenton, N.J., on Aug. 22, 1934. His father was one of the best U.S. Army generals for his time, with the rank of a major general, the third highest rank possible. His father, being heavily involved in the military, inspired Norman to try to become a general.

He earned his B.S. degree at the United States Military Acadamy. He earned his master's degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Southern California in 1956. Norman also holds several honorary doctorates in public service and leadership studies from leading universities.


In the Vietnam War (1957-1975), he served two tours of duty, one from 1965-1966, and the other from 1969-1970. He commanded troops from platoon to corps levels, and had a place in the Pentagon. He was wounded twice, and received three Silver Stars, three Bronze Stars and the Distinguished Service Medal.

Schwarzkopf was designated the Deputy Commander of the Joint Task Force in charge of U.S. Forces participation in the Grenada student rescue operation in 1983. He was appointed Chief of Central Command, and Commander of Military Headquarters of 18 countries in Africa and Asia in 1988.

General H. Norman Schwarzkopf is best known for his duties in the Persian Gulf War. He was the Commander of Operations Desert Storm, and Desert Shield. Both operations were successful. Schwarzkopf commanded about 540,000 soldiers during the Persian Gulf War. He coordinated all allied forces in Riyadh and Saudi Arabia from August, 1990 through August, 1991.

He retired from the U.S. Army in 1991 with the rank of a four-star general. He is one of the only people who have successfully accomplished that rank in the U.S. Army’s history.


Some of Schwarzkopf’s military awards include: distinguished service medals from Defense, Army, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard; two Purple Hearts; the Congressional Gold Medal; Presidential Medal of Freedom; and numerous foreign decorations. Schwarzkopf is also the recipient of many impressive, and honorable civilian awards, as well, such as Father of the Year, the Vince Lombardi Award of Excellence, Living Legends from the M.S. Anderson Foundation and Ambassador of Hope and Spirit of Hope Awards, as well as many others.


After Schwarzkopf retired, he published a best-selling autobiography called It Doesn't Take a Hero. Also, he participated in several award winning television specials, including the Peabody Award-winning special D-Day. Currently, he is working as a military consultant for NBC.

Schwarzkopf has also been involved in conservation and is currently serving on the Nature Conservancy's Presidential Conservation Council. Additionally, he was Chairman of the STARBRIGHT Capital Campaign, co-founder (along with Paul Newman) of the Boggy Creek Gang, a national spokesperson for prostate cancer and is involved in other health-care causes. He served as an honorary chairman to the March-Coming Together to Conquer Cancer, which raised millions of dollars for cancer research.

General Norman Schwarzkopf was married to the deceased Brenda Holsinger with whom he had three children: Cynthia, Jessica and Christian.

Throughout his career in the Army, he got the nickname Stormin’ Norman because all of his operations and campaigns succeeded. His famous quote is, " It doesn't take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle."

Page created on 8/28/2009 1:34:23 PM

Last edited 8/28/2009 1:34:23 PM

Related Links

Academy of Achievement - Read an interview with General H. Norman Schwarzkopf. The Academy of Achievement brings students face-to-face with the extraordinary leaders, thinkers and pioneers who have shaped our world.
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