Retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, victor of the Persian Gulf War of 1991, died Thursday, the Associated Press reports. He was 78.

Schwarzkopf died in Tampa, Fla., where he had lived in retirement, according to a U.S. official, speaking off the record.

A much-decorated combat soldier in Vietnam, Schwarzkopf was known as “Stormin’ Norman” for a notoriously explosive temper.

He served in his last military assignment in Tampa as commander-in-chief of U.S. Central Command, the headquarters responsible for U.S. military and security concerns in nearly 20 countries from the eastern Mediterranean and Africa to Pakistan.

Schwarzkopf became “CINC-Centcom” in 1988 and when Saddam Hussein conquered Kuwait two years later, he commanded the war dubbed Operation Desert Storm, the multinational coalition arrayed by then-President George H.W. Bush to drive the Iraqis out.

At the height of his postwar celebrity, Schwarzkopf shunned  suggestions that he run for office, and remained far more private than other generals, although he did serve briefly as a military commentator for NBC.

While focused in his later years on charitable enterprises, he campaigned for George W. Bush in 2000 but was unenthusiastic about the 2003 invasion of Iraq.