Rumsfeld was known for his hawkish military policies and support for the war on terror.
Donald Rumsfeld, the two-time US defence secretary who was one of the main architects of the Iraq war, has died at the age of 88.
Serving under President George W Bush, he was a key proponent of the so-called “war on terror” after the 9/11 attacks.
US forces invaded Iraq in 2003 after claiming the country had weapons of mass destruction, but no such weapons were found.
Mr Rumsfeld resigned three years later amid the fallout from the conflict.
He staunchly defended his record, but many experts blamed him for decisions that led to difficulties in Iraq and the wider region.
On Wednesday, his family said he had died at home in the town of Taos, New Mexico. “History may remember him for his extraordinary accomplishments over six decades of public service,” they said in a statement.
“But for those who knew him best and whose lives were forever changed as a result, we will remember his unwavering love for his wife Joyce, his family and friends, and the integrity he brought to a life dedicated to country.”