Born in Trenton, New Jersey, he graduated from West Point in 1956, and earned a masters degree in engineering from the University of Southern California in 1964. He served two combat tours in the Vietnam War. He made general in 1978, in 1983 was deputy commander during the US invasion of Grenada, and in 1988 was appointed to the US Central Command.
In 1990 he was chosen to run Operation Desert Storm, and was responsible for the "left hook" strategy that went into Iraq behind the Iraqi forces occupying Kuwait, and widely credited with bringing the ground war to a close in just four days. He was personally very visible in the conduct of the war, giving frequent press conferences, and was dubbed "Stormin' Norman".
General Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf, Sr. (August 28, 1895 - November 25, 1958) was superintendent of the New Jersey State Police at the time it was investigating the Lindbergh kidnapping case. He was posted to Iran in 1942 and was tasked with organising the Iranian police after the UK-Soviet intervention that made Iran an Allied protectorate. His trainees were active in supressing the Soviet inspired Peoples Republic of Azerbiajan (the so-called Marshabad Soviet) in 1946. He is the father of General Norman Schwarzkopf, mentioned above.