Rob Ford, councillor and former mayor of Toronto, has died of a rare and aggressive form of soft tissue cancer known as pleomorphic liposarcoma.
The politician who became known for his personal troubles, including drug and alcohol problems, announced in October that his cancer had returned. His time in politics was a colorful one with a barrage of accusations against his offensive speeches including a speech he made against donating money to AIDs charities. He was accused of drunkenly accosting two fans at a Maple Leafs game as well as coming clean about a 1999 impaired driving arrest according to CTV News Toronto.
Despite his controversial standings, Ford was popular amongst many gaining more and more success through his unique ability to connect with people. Former councillor Karen Stintz once told the Canadian Press that he “evokes a sympathy that is unique”.
He evokes a sympathy that is unique. People continue to forgive his indiscretions because they identify with him or feel sympathy with him
CBC News has reported the numerous colleagues and family who have paid tribute to Ford with many expressing their admiration for him. Jimmy Kimmel, TV chat host, writes on Twitter that he was an “unforgettable guy”.
Condolences to the family and fans of @TorontoRobFord – an unforgettable guy who loved his job and city like few men I’ve met.
His nephew, Toronto District School Board trustee Michael Ford, was the only member of his family to speak publicly about his passing by writing on twitter saying “love you and will forever miss you.” On announcing his battle with cancer he urged people to “live every day to the fullest” showing his optimism despite facing his inevitable decline from the disease.
Live every day to the fullest. If you get something done, do it. I sleep eight hours a day, the rest of the time I return phone calls, I help people out and I do whatever my kids want to do and whatever my wife wants to do.
He leaves behind his wife, Renata and young children Doug Jr. and Stephanie.