Mr. Hof was born in Phoenix on Oct. 14, 1946, according to his website. He said his father, who ran a bicycle rental shop and later became a postal worker, encouraged him to become an entrepreneur. He got his first job delivering newspapers and later began pumping gas. Eventually, he opened up several gas stations of his own, first in Arizona and then in Nevada, before he moved on to brothels.
Mr. Hof published a book called “The Art of the Pimp” in 2016 and was the star of the HBO television series “Cathouse,” which focused on the Moonlite BunnyRanch, his brothel east of Carson City. In 2015 Lamar Odom, the former N.B.A. forward who married the reality television star Khloé Kardashian, was hospitalized after he was found unconscious at one of Mr. Hof’s brothels.
Like the president, Mr. Hof had been accused of sexual assault by several women. At least two have come forward publicly, but Mr. Hof denied the allegations.
His Democratic opponent, Lesia Romanov, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday. But she told The Las Vegas Review-Journal that she was stunned by the news.
“This is not anything that I would have ever guessed would happen,” she said. “My heart goes out to those who care about him.”
Information on Mr. Hof’s survivors was not immediately available.
In a way, Ms. Romanov will still be competing against Mr. Hof in November. His name will stay on the ballot, although signs will be posted at polling places to let voters know that he is dead. State data from last year show that among active voters in the district, 45 percent are registered as Republicans while only 28 percent are Democrats.
If Mr. Hof wins, officials from Nye, Clark and Lincoln Counties will appoint a Republican to take his place, according to a spokeswoman for the Nevada secretary of state.