A lawyer for McNair, former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones, prosecuted the last two Klansmen sent to prison for the bombing, then went on to represent McNair during his criminal trial.
Chris McNair became one of the Alabama Legislature's first black members since Reconstruction when he was elected as a state representative in 1973. He never mentioned his daughter's death during the campaign.
He later served 15 years on the Jefferson County Commission before resigning in 2001.
McNair was among 21 people convicted in corruption cases linked to a more than $3 billion sewer project in Alabama's most populous county.
Citing more than $4 billion debts in all, the county filed what was then the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history in 2011. County leaders are still trying to emerge from bankruptcy.
McNair's commission duties included overseeing the sewer project, and prosecutors said evidence showed he collected bribes from contractors in return for government work.
McNair was convicted of bribery and conspiracy to solicit bribes in April 2006, and he later pleaded guilty to soliciting $140,000 in more bribes.
McNair entered prison after losing a bid to remain free because of his age and health.