Gen (Rtd) H Norman Schwarzkopf, 78, died in Tampa near Florida where he was living after retirement.
"General Schwarzkopf's skilled leadership of that campaign liberated the Kuwaiti people and produced a decisive victory for the allied coalition. In the aftermath of that war, General Schwarzkopf was justly recognised as a brilliant strategist and inspiring leader," US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said.
"Today, we recall that enduring legacy and remember him as one of the great military giants of the 20th century," he said in a statement.
"With the passing of General Norman Schwarzkopf, we've lost an American original," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.
Remembering his services to the nation during US operations in Vietnam and Kuwait, Carney observed Schwarzkopf's patriotic service made the US more "secure”.
Former US president George HW Bush, who remains in the intensive care unit at a Texas hospital, also mourned Schwarzkopf's death in a statement.
"Barbara and I mourn the loss of a true American patriot and one of the great military leaders of his generation," he said, describing Schwarzkopf as a "good and decent man".
Washington: A retired American general, who led US forces during the Operation Desert Storm in 1991 to drive the Iraqi forces out of Kuwait, has died.
First Published: Friday, December 28, 2012, 09:10