His daughter Terri Saaga Sua said her father died at Kuakini Medical Centre in Honolulu.
He was 67.
In his lifetime, Eti had been a builder of roads, a journalist, a government press officer, TV host, documentary producer, speech writer and translator for a congressman.
Eti was one of the star graduates of Samoa College and was influenced by his English teacher, the novelist Albert Wendt.
He turned down a scholarship to study in New Zealand, opting instead to be a labourer, building roads.
It was then that he penned his most famous poem, "Me the Labourer", which is studied at universities in Fiji, New Zealand and Samoa.
After a few years as a reporter for the Samoa Times newspaper in Apia, Eti and his wife, the late Otilia Hunkin Saaga moved to American Samoa where he worked as a press officer in government departments.
He was also a press officer and speech writer for the late Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin for more than two decades.
He is survived by four children.
Photo caption: Poet Eti Saaga and daugther Terri