Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf Sr.

Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf Sr.

Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, USA
Death 25 Nov 1958 (aged 63)
West Orange, Essex County, New Jersey, USA
Burial West Point, Orange County, New York, USA
Plot Section 10, Row I, Grave 160
Memorial ID 4079 · View Source
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United States Army Major General. He was the first Commandant of the New Jersey State Police, and was the father of United States Army General Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf, Junior, the Commander of coalition forces in the Persian Gulf War (sometimes referred to as Operation Desert Storm). Born in Newark, New Jersey, from his parents and immigrant neighbors, he learned the German language, a skill that would benefit him in future years. To receive a free college education, he attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, graduating early in April 1917 as the 5689th graduate of the Academy, and was commissioned in the Cavalry branch. The United States had declared war on Germany in April 1917, and needing a large number of Second Lieutenants, had directed that the senior class of West Point were to be graduated and commissioned immediately. In 1917, he was sent to Europe as part of the American Expeditionary Force, and while at the front, was gassed with mustard gas, which affected his lungs and made his susceptible to respiratory illnesses for the remainder of his life. For this, he was awarded the Purple Heart Medal. He would marry Ruth Bowman, a registered nurse from West Virginia (1900-1977) who helped care for him. Due to his leadership and his fluency in German, he was rapidly promoted to Colonel, and appointed Provost Marshal to the occupation forces in Germany following the end of the war. In 1921, he decided to leave the Army and accepted an appointment by New Jersey Governor Edward I. Edwards as the Commandant of the newly formed New Jersey State Police (Badge No. 1). Personally training the first 25 troopers, he organized the State Police into two troops: a northern troop on motorcycles to combat Mafia controlled activities such as narcotics, whiskey running, and gambling rings in the New Jersey suburbs of New York City, and a southern troop on horses, to combat the many moonshine rings that were circumventing the Prohibition laws. He became publicly known for his role in the 1932 Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping case, and when he narrated the popular radio show "Gang Busters" in the late 1930s. When the Army began building up again in 1940, he accepted a commission and reentered the Army as a Colonel, as the G-2 (Intelligence) of the 44th Infantry Division. In 1942, he was stationed with the Military Mission to Iran and tasked to train the Iranian police, for which he was later awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. His Iranian recruits would later suppress a Soviet inspired People's Republic of Azerbaijan in 1946. Following World War II, he was promoted to Brigadier General, and sent to Germany to serve as Deputy Provost Marshal for the American Zone of Occupation. In 1953, as a Major General, he was sent to Iran as part of a CIA inspired plot to convince Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to return to Iran and take power there, and remained there long enough to organize and train the Iranian security forces which would guard the Shah. Returning to the United States, he retired from the Army in 1957 and died the following year in West Orange, New Jersey, from complications of lung cancer. At his request, he was buried in the US Military Academy National Cemetery at West Point.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 28 Nov 1998
  • Find a Grave Memorial 4079
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf Sr. (28 Aug 1895–25 Nov 1958), Find a Grave Memorial no. 4079, citing United States Military Academy Post Cemetery, West Point, Orange County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .