The actress found fame as a young girl in the 1930s in films like Bright Eyes, Stand Up and Cheer and Curly Top.
After retiring from films in 1950 at the age of 21, Temple returned to the public eye as a Republican candidate for Congress and as a US diplomat.
She died on Monday at home in Woodside, California, from natural causes. "She was surrounded by her family and caregivers," a statement said.
The family statement continued: "We salute her for a life of remarkable achievements as an actor, as a diplomat, and most importantly as our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and adored wife for 55 years of the late and much missed Charles Alden Black."
Temple was one of the most popular child stars in Hollywood history, getting her first film role at the age of three.
Her singing, dancing and acting won over fans worldwide. She was given a special juvenile Oscar in 1935, when she was just six years old. To this day, she is still the youngest person to receive an Academy Award.