(NEXSTAR) – Mikhail Gorbachev, former Soviet president and the man known for ending the Cold War, has died at the age of 91, Reuters reports.
News organizations quoted a statement from the Central Clinical Hospital as saying he died after a long illness. No other details were given.
Gorbachev served as the last president of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s after serving as the last general secretary of the party from 1985 to 1991.
Though in power less than seven years, Gorbachev unleashed a breathtaking series of changes. But they quickly overtook him and resulted in the collapse of the authoritarian Soviet state, the freeing of Eastern European nations from Russian domination and the end of decades of East-West nuclear confrontation.
His decline was humiliating. His power was hopelessly sapped by an attempted coup against him in August 1991, he spent his last months in office watching republic after republic declare independence until he resigned on Dec. 25, 1991. The Soviet Union wrote itself into oblivion a day later.
Gorbachev won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 for his work to bring the Cold War to a peaceful end. He is also credited for starting the fall of communism in Europe after he declared he would not support Communist regimes in other countries if their peoples didn’t support them, his Nobel Prize biography reads.
In the early 2000s, Gorbachev won a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children alongside former President Bill Clinton and Italian actress Sophia Loren. In 2007, Gorbachev appeared in an advertisement for Louis Vuitton. He was photographed in a car with a Vuitton bag at his side as he rides past the Berlin Wall.
Gorbachev was born in 1931 in Privolnoye, Russia.
The official news agency Tass reported that Gorbachev will be buried at Moscow’s Novodevichy cemetery next to his wife.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.