Means recounted his life in the book "Where White Men Fear to Tread." He said he pulled no punches in the autobiography, admitting to his frailties but also acknowledging his successes.
"I tell the truth, and I expose myself as a weak, misguided, misdirected, dysfunctional human being I used to be," he said.
Means died at his ranch in Porcupine, S.D. He announced in August 2011 that he had inoperable throat cancer and told The Associated Press that he would forego mainstream medicine in favor of traditional American Indian remedies.
Means' death came a day after former Sen. George McGovern died in Sioux Falls at the age of 90. McGovern had traveled to Wounded Knee with then-Sen. James Abourezk during the takeover to try to negotiate an end to hostilities.
"I've lost two good friends in a matter of two to three days," Abourezk said Monday. "I don't pretend to understand it."
Oglala Sioux Tribe spokeswoman Donna Salomon said wake services for Means' will be Wednesday on Pine Ridge, and his ashes will be scattered in the Black Hills on Thursday.