Rob Ford Dead: Former Toronto Mayor Loses Battle with Cancer at 46
Toronto ex-mayor Rob Ford has died at the age of 46 after fighting cancer, his family has announced.
Rob Ford, who battled drug and alcohol addiction, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in 2014.
He gained international notoriety after admitting smoking crack cocaine in 2013, but he was loved by supporters.
“A dedicated man of the people, Councillor Ford spent his life serving the citizens of Toronto,” his family said in a statement.
Rob Ford could not run for re-election as mayor in 2014 due to his cancer diagnosis, but won a city council seat in a landslide result.
His image contrasted sharply with Canada’s usual calm, buttoned-up politics.
Reacting to his death, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau weeted: “Rob Ford fought cancer with courage and determination. My condolences and best wishes to the Ford family today.”
The current mayor of Toronto, John Tory, said in a statement that “the city is reeling with this news”.
“He was a man who spoke his mind and who ran for office because of the deeply felt convictions that he had.
“I know there are many who were affected by his gregarious nature and approach to public service.”
While serving as Toronto mayor, Rob Ford was videotaped and photographed intoxicated in public areas.
“Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine,” he told reporters.
“But… do I? Am I addict? No. Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors, probably approximately about a year ago.”
Despite the crack-smoking scandal, Rob Ford’s popularity remained high with fans lining up to take photo with him.
He appealed to conservative, working-class people with his populist message. Many of his supporters in the 2010 Toronto mayoral election came from the outer suburbs of the city.
One of his key campaign promises was to “stop the gravy train” of government spending and he pledged to end “the war on the car”.
He grew up in Etobicoke, a suburb of Toronto, dropping out of university after one year to work in his family business.
Rob Ford is survived by his wife Renata and his two children, Stephanie and Doug.