Elizabeth Parks, the spokeswoman in Nunnelee’s congressional office, said he died Friday in his hometown of Tupelo, Mississippi.
Nunnelee had experienced a series of health problems in recent months. In June 2014, he had a stroke while surgeons were removing a tumor from his brain. In addition to chemotherapy and radiation, he underwent physical therapy and speech therapy to try to recover from the stroke.
In an email to supporters in August. 2014, Nunnelee said he had drawn strength from a Bible verse about giving thanks to God in all circumstances.
“I am glad the scripture in Thessalonians does not say to give thanks for all circumstances because I would have a difficult time being thankful for a tumor or a stroke, much less both,” he wrote. “I have learned the way to approach the difficulty of stroke rehabilitation is to give thanks in all circumstances.”
In late December, Nunnelee was hospitalized in Tupelo for treatment of a hematoma, a bleeding problem in his left leg.
He was too ill to go to Washington in early January to be sworn in for his third two-year term, so House leaders let him take his oath from a federal judge in Mississippi.