Former Toronto mayor Rob Ford dies of cancer at 46

Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:50pm EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Rob Ford, the former mayor of Toronto who gained global notoriety for admitting to smoking crack cocaine while in office, died from cancer on Tuesday, his office said in a statement.

The Toronto city councillor, 46, had been undergoing treatment for an aggressive form of cancer that had recurred despite surgery and several rounds of chemotherapy.

During his tumultuous 2010-2014 tenure as mayor of Canada's most populous city, Ford admitted to smoking crack cocaine, buying illegal drugs and driving after drinking alcohol.

He was diagnosed in September 2014 with pleomorphic liposarcoma, a rare and hard-to-treat cancer found in soft, fatty tissue of the body, after he was admitted to a hospital with abdominal pain.

The man who replaced Ford as mayor, John Tory, offered his condolences, calling Ford "a man who spoke his mind and who ran for office because of the deeply felt convictions that he had."

(Reporting by Alastair Sharp and Matt Scuffham; Editing by Franklin Paul and Jeffrey Benkoe)

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford attends a gay rights flag raising event at Toronto City Hall May 17, 2013. REUTERS/Brett Gundlock