Credit: Barbara Kinney via

Hillary Rodham Clinton and her famous family are in mourning.

The Secretary of State's mother, Dorothy Howell Rodham, passed away, surrounded by family, just past midnight on Tuesday in Washington, D.C., the Clintons announced in a statement.

"Her story was a quintessentially American one, largely because she wrote it herself," the statement reads. "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."

Born and raised in Chicago, Dorothy left a chaotic home at age 14 to become a nanny. Wrote her daughter Hillary, 64, in her 2003 autobiography Living History: "I'm still amazed at how [she] emerged from her lonely early life as such an affectionate and level-headed woman." She had lived at Bill and Hillary's DC home since 2006.

Joked Bill Clinton in his 1996 Presidential acceptance speech: ''Everybody knows there is only one person in the world who can really tell the truth about a man, and that's his mother-in-law.''

Dorothy Rodham leaves behind 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.

A private "celebration" for family and friends is planned to honor her memory. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to George Washington Hospital, which cared for her over the years, the Heifer Project, "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," continues the release.

"Her family is and will be forever grateful for the gift of Dorothy's life and for the memories they will treasure forever."