Our condolences to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose mother passed away this morning.
Dorothy Rodham, often credited by her daughter for her success in public life, was 92 years old.
"She overcame abandonment and hardship as a young girl to become the remarkable woman she was," said a statement from the Clinton family: "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."
The former first lady had canceled a planned State Department trip to Europe to be with her mother.Mrs. Rodham is also survived by her son-in-law, former President Bill Clinton.
The funeral will be private.
In an obituary, The Washington Post described Mrs. Rodham as "a suburban Chicago homemaker who endured a devastating childhood and served as an inspiration to her daughter, Hillary Rodham Clinton, one of the most accomplished women in U.S. history:"
Mrs. Rodham spent decades as a familiar but unflashy presence alongside her daughter, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and son-in-law, Bill Clinton.
She accompanied them to Arkansas, where Bill Clinton was governor, and then to Washington as the Clinton family fortunes rose. Sturdy and down-to-earth, Mrs. Rodham was known among family friends for her sense of humor and curiosity, traits she passed on to her eldest child at an early age. Later in life, she grew close to her grandchildren, especially Chelsea.
Mrs. Rodham never worked outside the home, raising three children in the suburban enclave of Park Ridge, Ill., under the watchful eye of her husband, a conservative Republican who owned a drapery-making business.
In a restrictive household dominated by its patriarch, Mrs. Rodham funneled ambition and a passion for learning to her only daughter, who has long credited her mother with giving her the tools -- and toughness -- to enter politics.
During her presidential campaign in 2008, Hillary Clinton said she owed her inspiration to one person: "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."
Dorothy Howell was born June 4, 1919, in Chicago, the eldest of two daughters of Edwin Howell Jr., a firefighter, and Della Murray.
Her parents' marriage turned violent. After their divorce in the late 1920s, they sent their daughters -- Dorothy and Isabelle -- alone on a train to California to live with their paternal grandparents. They were severe and unpredictable disciplinarians.
The full statement from the Clinton family:
Dorothy Howell Rodham was born in Chicago on June 4, 1919 and died shortly after midnight on November 1, 2011 in Washington, D.C., surrounded by her family.
Her story was a quintessentially American one, largely because she wrote it herself. 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.
Dorothy is and always will be lovingly remembered by her daughter and son-in-law, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Bill Clinton; her sons and daughters-in-law, Hugh Rodham and Maria Rodham and Tony Rodham and Megan Rodham; her grandchildren, Chelsea Clinton and her husband Marc Mezvinsky, Zachary Rodham, Fiona Rodham and Simon Rodham.
She leaves behind many friends from all stages and places in her life, friends from California she met in high school, friends from Little Rock and Washington with whom she explored the world, the people who were first her doctors and then became her friends at George Washington Hospital, to the people she met through her children and grandchildren who became as much her friend as theirs.
To honor Dorothy, her family will hold a private celebration of her life for family and friends.
In lieu of flowers and in line with what Dorothy would have wanted, the family have asked that any one who would want to do so would make a donation in Dorothy's memory to George Washington Hospital (http://www.gwhospital.com/Donations) where she received excellent care and made terrific friends over many years; to the Heifer Project (http://www.heifer.org/), her Christmas gift of choice in 2010 and an organization dear to her heart; or to a local organization meaningful to the giver that helps neglected and mistreated children, a blight Dorothy was determined to remedy until her last day because she knew too well the pain too many children suffer.
Her family is and will be forever grateful for the gift of Dorothy's life and for the memories they will treasure forever.