Margaret 'Mags' Haney, a grandmother, was convicted of heroin dealing a decade ago and served about half of her 12-year sentence at Cornton Vale, Scotland's only women's prison, in her home city of Stirling.
While inside, Haney overcame cervical cancer. However, last year she contracted lung cancer and died from the disease at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, Larbert, in the early hours of yesterday.
Haney was a lifelong chain-smoker, but earlier this year she said she blamed asbestos in Cornton Vale for her contracting the disease.
Her family sprung to notoriety after Haney's heroin empire in Stirling's Raploch scheme was exposed.
However, Haney first hit the headlines in the 1990s by leading a campaign against convicted sex offenders who were housed on the Raploch estate at that time.
Haney suffered tragedy when her 18-year-old grandson, Barry Bradley, was murdered in 2010.
Jack Cramb, 19, attacked Barry in Alva, Clackmannanshire, with a shard of glass. Cramb claimed he was acting in self-defence but a jury convicted him of murder after a trial at the High Court in Glasgow.
He was ordered to serve at least 16 years.
At Haney's trial, in April 2003, she was said to be making up to £1000 a day from an operation that supplied heroin in Stirling. The trading in the Class A drug took place mainly from council flats in Lower Bridge Street, dubbed "Haney's Hotel" by residents.
At the time, trial judge Lady Smith described the grandmother as the person who "masterminded" the operation, profiting from vulnerable young people.
Three other members of her family also received jail terms. Her daughter Diane was sentenced to nine years, niece Roseann, to seven years, and son Hugh to five years at the High Court in Edinburgh.
Haney was most recently living in Alva. Following her release from prison in 2009, she said: "When I got out of jail, I got a house in Alva and I just wanted to live quietly.
"My neighbours are great but there are some elements here that don't want the Haneys and they've made that very clear."