His son, George W. Bush, served two terms as president from 2001 through 2009.
Funeral arrangements will be announced in due course according to a statement released by the family.
"Throughout his life, George H.W. Bush fought for freedom and prosperity for all Americans".
"My deepest condolences go out to the Bush family, and I join our nation in mourning the passing of George H.W. Bush". The Republican was defeated in his bid for a second term by Democrat Bill Clinton. George H. Bush held a steadfast belief in a greater calling, underlined by his service to our country as a World War II hero, public servant, elected official and through countless philanthropic efforts.
His death comes less than eight months after his wife Barbara died .
After Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, Mr Bush quickly began building an worldwide military coalition that included other Arab states.
The Republican giant was wheelchair-bound in his final years but was still active up until the end, and the New York Times obituary of the former president detailed his fight with Parkinson's in his final years.
Paying tribute to Mr Bush, current U.S. president Donald Trump praised his "sound judgment, common sense and unflappable leadership". Reagan soon chose Bush as his running mate and vice presidential nominee.More news: Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas reach India for Nick, Priyankas wedding
Bush Snr, a Second World War veteran, was born George Herbert Walker Bush in Milton, Massachusetts, on June 12 1924.
He had spent every summer in the seaside town since childhood, except during World War II while he was a naval aviator.
Over the next decade, he held several high-level posts that took him and Barbara around the world: head of the Republican National Committee, US ambassador to the United Nations, envoy to China and director of the Central Intelligence Agency, where he was praised for restoring morale after revelations of widespread illegal activity.
In January 1945 he married Barbara Pierce and together they had six children - George, Robin (who died as a child), John (known as Jeb), Neil, Marvin and Dorothy.
After losing the White House in 1992, Bush became a widely admired political elder who leapt out of airplanes to mark birthday milestones.
Bush served as president from 1989 to 1993. "Our thoughts are with the entire Bush family tonight - and all who were inspired by George and Barbara's example", his statement read.
As these images make clear, the future President whose "wit, stamina and enthusiasm" impressed the worldwide community had no shortage of enthusiasm for the rest of life as well.
"In 1989, 1990, 1991 - these were hard times, potentially hard times", Young said.