The 92-year-old mother of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton died early on Tuesday after her health took a turn for the worse, causing the chief US diplomat to cancel foreign travel plans.
Dorothy Rodham, who was born in Chicago on June 4, 1919, died shortly after midnight on Tuesday surrounded by her family, the family said in a short statement.
"Her story was a quintessentially American one, largely because she wrote it herself," the statement said.
"She overcame abandonment and hardship as a young girl to become the remarkable woman she was -- a warm, generous and strong woman; an intellectual; a woman who told a great joke and always got the joke; an extraordinary friend and, most of all, a loving wife, mother and grandmother."
Clinton was preparing to travel to conferences in London and Istanbul late Tuesday when the State Department announced she had cancelled the trip due to her mother's illness.
The family plan a private celebration of Dorothy Rodham's life and asked that instead of flowers well-wishers send donations to the George Washington Hospital, the Heifer Project - which seeks to end world hunger - or to charities for neglected and mistreated children.