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A family member told CNBC the cause of Chilton's death was complications from pancreatic cancer. He was 58.
Chilton was a frequent guest on CNBC and wrote for CNBC's website. Most recently, he hosted the show "Boom Bust" for television's RT America channel.
There, he headed the Energy and Environmental Advisory Committee and the Global Markets Advisory Committee. His years at the CFTC were remembered for his criticism of high-frequency trading, whose traders he called "cheetahs."
High-frequency trading refers to the use of computer programs to move in and out of positions very quickly — sometimes in fractions of a second.
In recent months, Chilton wrote for Forbes on topics ranging from cryptocurrencies to financial regulation.
CFTC Chairman Chris Giancarlo, in a Twitter post on Sunday, said Chilton's death was "sad news for all of us."