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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Rob Ford, former Toronto mayor, dead at 46

Rob Ford, the former Toronto mayor who polarized voters with his brash, uncompromising political style and became an international celebrity for his drug and alcohol use while in office, has died. He was 46.

Ford died this morning after battling cancer since 2014. His death was confirmed by his chief of staff Dan Jacobs, who issued the following statement:

"With heavy hearts and profound sadness, the Ford family announces the passing of their beloved son, brother, husband, and father, Councillor Rob Ford earlier today at the age of 46.

A dedicated man of the people, Councillor Ford spent his life serving the citizens of Toronto.

Rob Ford
While opinions on Ford's legacy as mayor run the gamut, most in his home-town say he's left a mark there that won't soon be forgotten. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)
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.

Over his decade and a half in municipal politics, Ford won a devoted following for being a straight talker who championed the average taxpayer."


He was equally defined by his apparent contradictions: a millionaire with a working-class attitude; a cost-cutting crusader who promoted subway expansion over less expensive transit solutions; and a man who while serving as mayor often seemed more interested in coaching high school football.

It was a testament to his common touch that even as Ford faced a growing number of controversies related to drug use, public drunkenness and racist and sexist comments, many voters in the so-called "Ford Nation" continued to stand by him.

He, in turn, remained committed to them.

"I have made mistakes and all I can do right now is apologize for those mistakes," Ford said at a news conference in June 2014, after a two-month stint in rehab.

"I love the work that I do and I'm going to keep doing it. I want to keep working for the people of this city."

--more at CBC.ca--

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