Desert Storm’s No. 2 Commander, Calvin Waller, Dies of Heart Attack
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Retired Lt. Gen. Calvin A.H. Waller, deputy commander of U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, died Thursday on a trip to Washington. He was 58.
Waller, who retired after 32 years in the Army in 1991, died of a heart attack while with his wife, Marion, according to a statement released by his employer, Kaiser-Hill, an environmental contractor based in Colorado.
Waller also served in Vietnam and Korea, and was one of the Army’s highest-ranking blacks when he retired.
As deputy to Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, the top U.S. commander in the Gulf War, Waller was directly in charge of the main U.S. forces in the January 1991 offensive against Iraq.
He stirred controversy before the war by arguing that U.S. troops were not ready to fight by the United Nations’ deadline for Iraq’s withdrawal from Kuwait.
At the time, the statement appeared to undercut President Bush’s strategy of steadily increasing pressure on Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Allied forces began bombing Iraq and Kuwait shortly after the Jan. 15, 1991, deadline. Iraq was defeated within several weeks.
In 1992, Waller was one of a dozen retired military leaders who endorsed President Clinton in his campaign against Bush.
A native of Baton Rouge, La., Waller had degrees from Prairie View A&M University and Shippensburg State College.
Upon retiring from the military, Waller moved to Denver and served until 1992 as president and chief executive officer of RKK Ltd., an environmental technology company. In July 1995, he joined Kaiser-Hill.