Tatjana Patitz died after battling breast cancer.
The model's agent at The Model CoOp in New York City confirmed to DailyMail.com that she recently passed away, and now they have confirmed her cause of death.
Her agent said: "Needless to say, we are all devastated by her passing.
"She was a compassionate soul, kind and generous of heart and an avid advocate of animal rights."
Patitz advocated for the protection of wild horses.
Anna Wintour, the chief content officer of Conde Nast and the global editorial director of Vogue, hailed Patitz as the "European symbol of chic".
Speaking to Vogue, she said: "She was far less visible than her peers - more mysterious, more grown-up, more unattainable - and that had its own appeal."
Vogue was the first outlet to announce the news and the publication actually played a huge role in Patitz's career, helping to launch her on the path to stardom in the 80s.
Patitz was born in Germany and raised in Sweden, and she made her first foray into the industry at the age of 17, when she competed in a modelling contest.
However, her career really took off in 1988, when she posed for the acclaimed photographer Peter Lindbergh.
Thereafter, Patitz's modelling career went from strength to strength, leading to her becoming one of the so-called 'Big Five' supermodels.
In 1990, she starred in the music video for George Michael's hit song 'Freedom! '90'. The catwalk star appeared in the video alongside fellow models Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista.
Patitz modelled for the likes of Chanel, Donna Karan and Vivienne Westwood during her career, and she also often appeared in the pages of American and British Vogue.
She made her last catwalk appearance at Milan Fashion Week in 2019, when she modelled items from Etro's autumn/winter collection.
The catwalk star is survived by her 19-year-old son Jonah.