Schwarzkopf wrote that had "we taken all of Iraq, we would have been like a dinosaur in the tar pit -- we would still be there, and we, not the United Nations, would be bearing the costs of that occupation."
Schwarzkopf supported the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, though he later criticized the Pentagon for what he called mistakes that included sending undertrained Reserve and National Guard troops into combat.
Schwarzkopf retired in August 1991, hit the lecture circuit and briefly was a military analyst for NBC.
He told King that he was asked to run for U.S. Senate.
"I got off the airplane and they came after me to, you know, run for senator in Florida, and I told them, 'No,' " he said. "I'm not a politician. I'd make a lousy politician."
Born in Trenton, New Jersey, in 1934, he was named H. Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. after his father.
His father, Major Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, a West Point graduate who fought in World War I, became head of New Jersey State Police, helping to build the fledgling force and eventually leading the investigation of the infamous Lindbergh baby kidnapping.
"The day I was born, my father said ... 'That boy is going to West Point,' " Schwarzkopf recalled to King. "And that's the only thing I ever heard my entire young life."
After World War II, according to the book, the younger Schwarzkopf traveled to Iran to be with his father, who was helping advise the training of the country's police force under the shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
Schwarzkopf attended a Swiss boarding school and later returned to the New York region to enroll at West Point before heading to Vietnam for the first time in 1966.
"I prided myself on being unflappable even in the most chaotic of circumstances," he wrote. "That guise lasted until Vietnam, where I realized that I was dealing with human lives and if one were lost, it could never be replaced. I quickly learned that there was nothing wrong with being emotional."
He was commissioned a second lieutenant and served two tours of duty in Vietnam, where he received three Silver Stars. In 1983, he led troops during the invasion of Grenada.
Schwarzkopf, who died in Tampa, Florida, is survived by his wife, Brenda, two daughters and a son.