TAMPA — What do Jeb Bush, Tim Tebow and H. Norman Schwarzkopf have in common?
They've all been named Great Floridians by Gov. Rick Scott.
Tuesday at MacDill Air Force Base, the late Gen. Schwarzkopf joined the ranks of Bush, Tebow and other distinguished writers, politicians and business people who called Florida home in a ceremony at U.S. Central Command.
His widow, Brenda Schwarzkopf, accepted the award.
"He didn't know how to stop giving back to his country and his community," Scott said at the ceremony. "On top of being a great American, he was a great Floridian."
After being transferred around the country in his early career, Schwarzkopf moved to Tampa in 1988 when he assumed command of CentCom at MacDill. He is credited for being the architect of Operation Desert Storm and leading troops in the Persian Gulf War, which General Lloyd Austin, current CentCom commander, called "one of the most successful military campaigns in U.S. history."
When Schwarzkopf retired in 1991, he and Brenda decided to stay in Tampa, she said.
"The Tampa area has been our home for 25 years," she said. "The longest we've lived anywhere."
After retiring from CentCom, Schwarzkopf continued to be involved in children's charities in the area and was a national spokesman for prostate cancer.
Schwarzkopf died in December of complications from pneumonia. He was 78.
"It's been terrible. I miss him terribly," Brenda Schwarzkopf said Tuesday. "What a tribute it is to him today, that's for sure."
Times staff writer Charles Scudder can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 225-3111.