Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, the son of a general who served in both world wars, transformed what it meant to be an American military leader — inviting reporters into the battlefield during the first Persian Gulf War and conducting live, televised briefings about operations.
But the general, who died Thursday at age 78, also believed that it was his obligation and, indeed, the obligation of every high-ranking Army officer to challenge the system and the decision-makers he reported to.
Schwarzkopf was born in New Jersey and graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1956. Peter Petre, co-author of Schwarzkopf’s memoir “It Doesn’t Take A Hero,” says toward the end of the general’s career, both Democrats and Republicans urged him to run for public office.
“But Norm always saw himself as a soldier and not a politician,” Petre said.
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