Jowell, who played a prominent role in securing the 2012 Olympics for London when she served as UK culture secretary, had been campaigning for more cancer treatments to be made available on the state-funded National Health Service (NHS) since she was diagnosed last year.
A statement from her family said she died peacefully at the family home near Shipston-on-Stour in Warwickshire last night after suffering a haemorrhage.
"In addition to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, in recent months doctors tried innovative new treatments which Tessa gladly embraced, but sadly the tumour recently progressed very quickly," the statement noted.
She had said at the time that In the end, what gives a life meaning is not only how it is lived, but how it draws to a close," she said in the speech.
"I hope that this debate will give hope to other cancer patients, like me, so we can live well together with cancer, not just dying of it. All of us, for longer."
Leading the tributes to his ex-minister, former prime minister Tony Blair said she was a "committed public servant" who was "always true and loyal and decent and wise".
She knew she was dying and yet she was prepared to give everything she had in order to help people in the future," Blair said.
"If anyone wants to know what politics can achieve they can just look at her life and how she lived it, and how she ended it as a testimony to all that's best in politics," he added.
A small private funeral will be held in the coming days with a memorial service open to all at a later date.
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