Former Toronto mayor Rob Ford is dead, his chief of staff Dan Jacobs confirmed to CBC on Tuesday, March 22. He was 46.
“A dedicated man of the people, Councillor Ford spent his life serving the citizens of Toronto,” Jacobs said. “The family asks that you respect their privacy and join them in their grieving and their prayers. The family will not be making any statements to the media or taking any questions. Information will follow at a later time regarding memorial services.”
Ford spent 18 months in treatment as he attempted to fight a rare form of cancer, pleomorphic liposarcoma, which was diagnosed during his bid to be reelected as mayor in 2014. In May 2015, he underwent surgery, which was initially deemed successful. Months later, several new tumors were discovered. He was first elected to the office in 2000.
Ford rose to fame when he was captured smoking crack — on video — while in office. He went to rehab in 2014 in order to seek help for his alcohol issues, returning to work two months later.
He is survived by his wife, Renata, and two young children, Stephanie and Doug, as well as his mother, two brothers and sister.