By Laura Barron-Lopez - 12/22/13 01:02 PM EST
John Eisenhower, son of the five-star general and former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, died Saturday. He was 91.
After working for his father as a member of the White House staff, John Eisenhower helped his father write his post-presidential memoirs.
President Obama and the first lady sent their condolences to Eisenhower's family on Sunday.
"He grew up the son of an American hero, but emerged a great American in his own right," Obama said in a statement on Sunday.
"His was a big and quintessentially American life — one of patriotism and character, learning and teaching, and a deep and abiding sense of service to his country," Obama added.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said John Eisenhower was a "true patriot whom I was fortunate to call my friend."
Eisenhower was "an accomplished soldier, diplomat, and author," Hagel said in a statement late Saturday. "He was the longtime patriarch of an extraordinary family."
Eisenhower's family gave no cause of death in their statement, according to The Associated Press. He lived on Maryland's Eastern Shore in the city of Trappe.