Shreveport born classical pianist Van Cliburn has passed away at the age of 78. His publicist says he died this morning (2/27) at the age of 78 after battling bone cancer.

Cliburn was born in Shreveport, but his family moved to Kilgore at the age of six.

Cliburn received world-wide acclaim as a classical pianist after winning the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow at age 23.

Cliburn has also been credited with helping to end the Cold War after performing at the summit meeting between President Ronald Reagan and Soviet head of state Mikhail Gorbachev. Cliburn performed for every president since Harry Truman.

Here is some interesting Youtube video about that "Cold War" performance: