According to the writer's son, Salinger passed away of natural causes at his home in New Hampshire on Wednesday (27Jan10).
The author is best known for his iconic 1951 novel The Catcher in the Rye, which spawned literary anti-hero Holden Caulfield, and reportedly inspired Mark David Chapman to shoot and kill John Lennon in 1980.
Salinger also wrote the novel Franny and Zooey, and the acclaimed novellas Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour - An Introduction.
His last published story, Hapworth 16, 1928, ran in The New Yorker in 1965.
In the last 30 years, the author turned into a recluse, who was rarely seen in public.
Born Jerome David Salinger on 1 January, 1919, in New York, the troubled youngster was sent to Valley Forge Military Academy as a teen and later served in the U.S. Army.
He published his first piece of fiction, The Young Folks, in Story magazine in 1940.
Last year (09), Salinger sued to halt publication of John David California's 60 Years Later - an unauthorised sequel to Catcher in the Rye that revisited Holden Caulfield as an old man.