E. Pierce Marshall, who feuded for years with former Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith over his father's oil fortune, has died, his spokesman said Friday. He was 67.

Marshall died unexpectedly Tuesday evening in the Dallas area from a brief and extremely aggressive infection, the family said in a written statement released through spokesman David Margulies. He declined to provide additional details.

"The family would politely request that their privacy be respected during this extremely difficult time as they grapple with this devastating loss," the statement said.

Smith married Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II in 1994, when she was 26 and he was 89. He died the following year. Since then, E. Pierce Marshall has been locked in a legal battle over her entitlement to the estate.

The Supreme Court last month revived former Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith's pursuit of her late husband's oil fortune, ruling Monday that the one-time stripper deserves another day in court.

The case has had twists and turns. Smith won a $474 million judgment, which was cut to about $89 million and eventually reduced to zero.

"Mr. Marshall leaves behind a legacy of being, first and foremost, a remarkable husband, father and grandfather, a successful business visionary and a man of unrivaled perseverance and principle," the Margulies statement said.