Donald Rumsfeld, two-time U.S Secretary of Defence, died on Tuesday at his home in Taos, New Mexico.
Mr Rumsfeld was 88 years old.
“It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the passing of Donald Rumsfeld, an American statesman and devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather,” the statement from the Rumsfeld family said.
“At 88, he was surrounded by family in his beloved Taos, New Mexico.”
Mr Rumsfeld was born in Chicago in 1932 and attended Princeton on academic and military scholarships, graduating in 1954.
Mr Rumsfeld served twice as secretary of defence for Presidents Gerald R. Ford and George W. Bush. He led America through the Cold War in the 1970s and then the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Mr Rumsfeld also served as a White House chief of staff, a U.S. ambassador to NATO, and a U.S. Congressman. He was the CEO of two Fortune 500 companies. In 1988, he briefly ran for the Republican U.S. presidential nomination.
In 1977, Mr Rumsfeld was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He had 11 honorary degrees.
In his 2011 memoir, ‘Known and Unknown,’ Mr Rumsfeld expressed no regrets for his role in the invasion of Iraq in 2003, a war that cost the U.S. $700 billion and 4,400 American lives.
He argued in the book that the removal of then-President Hussein had justified the effort and loss incurred by the country.