Dorothy Rodham, the mother of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, died early Tuesday morning after an illness. She was 92.
The Clinton family released a statement saying Rodham died shortly after midnight in Washington, D.C. surrounded by her family.
The secretary of state cancelled a planned trip to London and Istanbul to be by her mother's side.
The Clinton family in the statement hailed Rodham as a woman who "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."
Rodham avoided the spotlight and rarely gave interviews about herself or her daughter and son-in-law, the former president.
In a debate during the 2008 campaign, Clinton called her mother her inspiration.
"I owe it to my mother, who never got a chance to go to college, who had a very difficult childhood, but who gave me a belief that I could do whatever I set my mind," she said.
The Clinton family is planning a private memorial service.
The family statement said any donations should be made to George Washington Hospital, where Rodham "received excellent care and made terrific friends over many years"; or to the Heifer Project, her Christmas gift of choice in 2010.
Or, the statement said "to a local organization that helps neglected and mistreated children."