'We've lost an American original' says President Obama

General Norman Schwarzkopf passed away on Thursday in Tampa, FL

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WACH/AP) â?? The man who became known as â??Storminâ?? Normanâ?? after leading the international coalition in Kuwait that drove out Saddam Hussein in 1991, has died of complications related to pneumonia.

Retired General H. Norman Schwarzkopf passed away in Tampa on Thursday, where he had maintained a low profile after his last assignment there, and in his post service days.

General Schwarzkopf was given the popular â??Storminâ?? Normanâ?? nickname, some say because of his temper with aides, however, his troops called him â??The Bear.â??

Schwarzkopf was named commander in chief of U.S. Central Command at Tampa's MacDill Air Force Base in 1988. There he oversaw the headquarters for U.S. military and security concerns in nearly two dozen countries stretching across the Middle East to Afghanistan and the rest of central Asia, plus Pakistan.

After his retirement, he remained in Tampa, living a â??quiet life,â?? and managed to keep a low profile in the public debate over the second Gulf War against Iraq. He said at one point that he doubted victory would be as easy as the White House and the Pentagon predicted.

The Generalâ??s passing has spawned several heart-felt statements from those who knew him or of him.

With the passing of Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, we've lost an American originalâ?¦Our prayers are with the Schwarzkopf familyâ?? said President Barack Obama.

Former President George H.W. Bush said in part, "Barbara and I mourn the loss of a true American patriot and one of the great military leaders of his generation.â??

Retired General Colin Powell, who served with Schwarzkopf, said â??America lost a great patriot and a great soldier. Norm served his country with courage and distinction for over 35 years.â??

General Norman Schwarzkopf was 78.

(The AP contributed to this story)