Cates organized 14 Oscar ceremonies between 1990 and 2008, the most ever in the history of the award show.
"If you want a sense of what America is like, you'll watch the Oscars," he said in 2006.
The native New Yorker also directed films, including 1970's I Never Sang for My Father; 1973's Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams; 1980's Oh, God! Book II and 1980’s The Last Married Couple in America. His niece was actress Phoebe Cates (Fast Times At Ridgemont High).
"So sorry to hear Gil Cates has died," Steve Martin tweeted Tuesday. "He helmed two Oscar shows I hosted. He was delightful, wise, canny and unperturbed. A great fellow.”