George Bush was the 41st president of the United States, and helped guide the world out of a four-decade Cold War.
"Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro and I are saddened to announce that after 94 remarkable years, our dear Dad has died," his son, former president George W. Bush, said in a statement released on Twitter by a family spokesman.
"George H.W. Bush was a man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for."
Bush's passing comes just months after the death in April of his wife and revered first lady Barbara Bush -- his "most beloved woman in the world" -- to whom he was married for 73 years.
He is survived by his five children and 17 grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements will be announced in due course, a family spokesman said.
The US leader was a foreign policy stalwart who declared a "new world order" in 1990 and drove Iraq from Kuwait but saw his military intervention in the Middle East serve as a harbinger of chaos to come.
The decorated war pilot and former CIA chief suffered the ignominy of being a one-term president, denied a second term over a weak economy when he lost the 1992 election to upstart Democrat Bill Clinton.
FLASH BACK: On October 21, 2008, children who sing in the African Children's Choir sang for American President George W. Bush at his residence in Washington D.C.