The Diocese of Wilmington said 77-year-old Saltarelli died early Thursday from cancer. Diocesan spokesman Bob Krebs says it began as bone cancer and spread.
Saltarelli served as bishop of the diocese, which includes Delaware and Maryland's Eastern Shore, until last year.
Saltarelli was born in Jersey City, N.J., and studied at Seton Hall University, Immaculate Conception Seminary and Manhattan College. He was ordained in 1960 and worked in New Jersey until he was appointed bishop of Wilmington in 1995.
In accordance with church law, Saltarelli offered his resignation when he turned 75 and Rev. W. Francis Malooly was installed as bishop in September 2008.
Details of public services for Saltarelli are being finalized.