Legendary pianist, East Texan Van Cliburn dies at 78

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 12:00pm

Renowned classical pianist Van Cliburn died of bone cancer Wednesday at his home in Fort Worth, Texas, his publicist said. He was 78.

Cliburn was born in Shreveport, Lousiana, before moving to Kilgore, Texas at the age of six.

The pianist attended the Julliard School when he was 17 and returned a hero during the Cold War after he won the 1958 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, Russia.

Cliburn was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Order of Friendship. The highest civilian award a person can receive in the United States and Russia.

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