Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, who ended the Cold War, died on Tuesday. He was 92.

"This evening, after a serious and prolonged illness, Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev passed away," the Moscow Central Clinical Hospital, where he was being treated, said in a statement.

Gorbachev was born in 1931 in a peasant family. He made a successful career in the Communist Party and headed the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991.

Gorbachev announced a policy of perestroika, designed as a transition to a more democratic and free country, but which led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

In 1990, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his pivotal role in ending the Cold War.