He suffered a stroke two weeks ago and his condition improved before a sudden deterioration on Tuesday.
Mr Peres, who was one of the last of a generation of Israeli politicians present at the new nation's birth in 1948, served twice as the country's prime minister and once as president.
He won the Nobel Peace prize in 1994 for his role negotiating peace accords with the Palestinians a year earlier.
He once said the Palestinians were Israel's "closest neighbours" and might become its "closest friends".
Mr Peres shared his Nobel Peace Prize with Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was later assassinated, and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
At the start of his long political career, he was put in charge of personnel and arms purchases for the Haganah, the predecessor of the Israel Defense Forces.
He secured a deal with France to supply the new Israeli nation with Mirage jet fighters. He also set up Israel's secret nuclear facility.
Once an advocate of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, Peres later became a leading political dove. He often spoke of the need for compromise over territorial demands in Palestinian areas.
He maintained an active public schedule into old age, mostly through his non-governmental Peres Centre for Peace, which promotes closer ties between Israel and the Palestinians.
He retired from his role as president in 2014.