Her family said she passed away at her home in California on February 10.
In the Thirties Shirley appeared in film such as Brights Eyes, Curly Top, Stand Up and Cheer and Heidi, topping box office receipts year after year. Her brand of wholesome energy was a tonic for a country suffering from the Great Depression.
Such was her popularity, the starlet was given a special Juvenile Award from the Oscars Academy when she was six. To this day, she remains the youngest person ever to receive an Oscar.
After retiring from films she married and had three children - Linda from her first union and Charles and Lorie from her second.
Her second marriage to San Francisco businessman Charles Black endured from 1950 to her husband's death in 2005.
In the Sixties she became active in politics with the Republican Party and later served as US Ambassador to Ghana.
On Monday, her family said: "We salute her for a life of remarkable achievements as an actor, as a diplomat, and... our beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother."