Daniels was appointed by Gov. Bill Richardson in 2007 and retired in 2018. He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona and obtained his law degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law.
Daniels also served in the United States Air Force for five years.
In a statement from Chief Justice Judith K. Nakamura on behalf of the Supreme Court of New Mexico, she said her colleagues are saddened to hear about the loss.
“Our state has lost a titan of the law,” the statement read. “From humble roots as the son of sharecroppers, Justice Daniels grew into a towering figure as an attorney and jurist who for a half century tenaciously defended our constitutional rights and advanced equal justice under the law. His brilliant legal mind and sharp wit made him an eloquent and compelling presence in the courtroom.”