Hillary Clinton's Mom, Dorothy Rodham, Dies at 92
11/01/2011 AT 11:15 AM EDT
Secretary of State Clinton announced she was canceling a trip to Istanbul and London Monday to stay with her ailing mother. No medical information was disclosed.
Born in Chicago, Dorothy Rodham was raised by her grandparents in California. Later in life, she moved to Arkansas to be closer to the Clintons, and she became involved in charity work, focusing on organizations that help neglected and abused children.
"Her story was a quintessentially American one, largely because she wrote it herself," the family 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."
Dorothy Rodham was a frequent presence during her daughter's 2008 presidential campaign and was very close to her granddaughter, as was evidenced at Chelsea's wedding.
At the recent Decade of Difference concert, Bill Clinton called his mother-in-law "the coolest person her age on the planet and the person in our family who knows the most about popular culture." While Chelsea listed Rodham as one of her personal heroes during her speech.
President Obama also had kind words of remembrance for the "remarkable" Rodham. "Anybody who knows her history knows what a strong, determined and gifted person she was," he said in a statement Tuesday. "I know that she will be remembered as somebody who helped make a difference in this country and this world."
The family plan to hold a private celebration of her life.
Clinton's father, Hugh Rodham, died in 1993.
Reporting by SHARON COTLIAR and SANDRA SOBIERAJ WESTFALL