Rob Ford speaks to supporters after being elected as a councillor in the municipal election in Toronto, October 27, 2014. REUTERS/Fred Thornhill

The eccentric politician made headlines around the world for his erratic behavior before being diagnosed with cancer in 2014.

Rob Ford, the former mayor of Toronto, has died at the age of 46. He had been battling liposarcoma, a rare form of cancer, since 2014.

Ford, a city councillor at the time of his death, served as Toronto’s mayor from 2010 to 2014. Hailing from the suburb of Etobicoke, Ford rose to power as an eccentric voice for conservative suburbanites.

Soon after being elected mayor, Ford acted on his promise to “stop the gravy train” of government spending and end the so-called “war on cars.” He canceled Transit City, an ambitious, $8 billion (CAN) plan to bring light rail and bus rapid transit service the suburbs. He also removed transit workers’ right to strike, and partially privatized garbage collection. Ford made a spectacle out of saving taxpayers money, even taking to the radio once to apologize for City Hall spending too much on chairs.

The wider world came to know Ford starting in May 2013 after Gawker first reported the existence of a video showing him smoking crack. In the aftermath of that story, Ford’s public behavior became increasingly erratic. Despite the discovery of additional evidence of his substance abuse, he spent months denying the charges. Ford finally admitted that November that he had smoked crack but refused to step down as mayor, even after most of his powers were stripped by the City Council. A second video of him smoking crack emerged in April 2014. That same month, Ford entered rehab.

After a tumor was discovered in his stomach, Ford stopped his reelection campaign in September 2014, handing it over to his brother, Doug, while Rob ran for (and won) his former council seat instead. John Tory won the mayoral election and assumed office that December. Ford is survived by his wife, Renata Ford, and two children.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. The legs of a crash-test dummy.
    Transportation

    A Clue to the Reason for Women’s Pervasive Car-Safety Problem

    Crash-test dummies are typically models of an average man. Women are 73 percent more likely to be injured in a car accident. These things are probably connected.

  2. a photo of the First Pasadena State Bank building, designed by Texas modernist architects MacKie and Kamrath. It will be demolished on July 21.
    Design

    The Lonely Death of a South Texas Skyscraper

    The First Pasadena State Bank, a 12-story modernist tower inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, has dominated this small town near Houston since 1962.

  3. A NASA rendering of a moon base with lunar rover from 1986.
    Life

    We Were Promised Moon Cities

    It’s been 50 years since Apollo 11 put humans on the surface of the moon. Why didn’t we stay and build a more permanent lunar base? Lots of reasons.

  4. A crowded street outside in Boston
    Life

    Surveillance Cameras Debunk the Bystander Effect

    A new study uses camera footage to track the frequency of bystander intervention in heated incidents in Amsterdam; Cape Town; and Lancaster, England.                            

  5. A photo of anti-gentrification graffiti in Washington, D.C.
    Equity

    The Hidden Winners in Neighborhood Gentrification

    A new study claims the effects of neighborhood change on original lower-income residents are largely positive, despite fears of spiking rents and displacement.

×