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Former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Dies at 46

Ford, who had gained an international reputation for a drug problem and his anti-elitist politics, died after a battle with cancer
By The News · 22 of March 2016 09:31:40
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FILE - In this Monday, May 11, 2015 photo provided by Dan Jacobs, former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford gives a thumbs up before surgery in Toronto, to remove a cancerous tumor from his abdomen. On Thursday, March 17, 2016, Ford's chief of staff, Jacobs, said doctors are working on building his strength to be able to resume chemotherapy. In October 2015, doctors also discovered two cancerous growths on his bladder. He has been in the hospital since late February. (Courtesy Dan Jacobs via AP)

Ford before surgery in May 2015. Photo: Associated Press/Dan Jacobs.

TORONTO – Rob Ford, the pugnacious, populist former mayor of Toronto whose career crashed in a drug-driven, obscenity-laced debacle, died Tuesday after fighting cancer, his family says. He was 46.

Ford rode into office on a backlash against urban elites. He cast an image sharply at odds with Canada’s reputation for sedate, unpretentious politics.

But his tenure as mayor of the country’s largest city was marred by revelations about his drinking problems and illegal drug use. He was repeatedly videotaped and photographed while intoxicated in public.

His statements and actions became nightly fodder for TV comedians and an embarrassment to many of the suburbanites he championed.

Nevertheless, he was later elected by a landslide to a city council seat.