An acclaimed writer and filmmaker, Pierson was nominated twice for Best Adapted Screenplay; he won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Al Pacino movie Dog Day Afternoon.
Harvard-educated Pierson also won Emmy Awards for directing Truman and Conspiracy on TV, and he directed The Looking Glass War in 1969 and the 1976 version of A Star is Born, starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. He also served as a consultant producer on TV drama Mad Men.
He was honoured with the Writers Guild of America's top three accolades, the Laurel Award for Lifetime Achievement, Valentine Davies Award and Edmund H. North Award.
He served as head of AMPAS from 2001 to 2005 and he also held the post of president at the WGA from 1981 to 1983 and again from 1993 to 1995.
A statement from the Pierson family reads: "Oscar-winning screenwriter Frank Pierson died today in Los Angeles of natural causes following a short illness."
A private funeral will be held later this week (ends27Jul12).