Van Cliburn, the pianist who helped unite and inspire people during the Cold War, has died, the Associated Press reports. He was 78.
Cliburn died in his Fort Worth, Texas, home after succumbing to his battle with bone cancer.
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Born in Louisiana, Cliburn began taking piano lessons at the age of three. After growing up in Texas, Cliburn moved to New York to study at the Julliard School and trained in Russian Romantic-style music. It was in 1958, at the age of 23, when Cliburn rose to fame after winning the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. That year he was on the cover of Time Magazine with the headline, "The Texan Who Conquered Russia." Although Russia and the United States were battling at the time, Cilburn became a hero to Soviets.read more