05:28 PM EDT 03/19/2015
Originally posted 02/27/2013 01:50PM
Van Cliburn, the internationally renowned American cultural ambassador and one of the greatest pianists in the history of music, died at his Fort Worth, Texas, home on Wednesday. He was 78 and had been suffering from advanced bone cancer first diagnosed in mid-August 2012.
Having played for royalty, heads of state and every American President since Harry Truman, Harvey Lavan Cliburn Jr., the Shreveport, Louisiana-born son of an oil industry executive, began taking piano lessons from his mother Rildia when he was 3. She remained his teacher for the next 17 years.
Top 5 Most Voted Stories
VIDEO: Meet Devina Keswani, The First Grader Transitioning From Male to Female
Daphne Oz Goes on Family Beach Outing One Month After Giving Birth
Khloé Kardashian Quits PETA after Flour Bombing of Kim Kardashian
Kentucky Woman Contracts an Infection, Undergoes Emergency Surgery – Likely Due to the Glitter Hair Tie She Wore on Her Wrist
Meet the Keswanis, the Family That's About to Become Your New Obsession
Top 10 News Categories
The most buzzed about stars this minute!
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
More On PEOPLE.com
Got a News Tip?
Send it to our People.com editors!