He served for a decade as a city councilor before being elected mayor in 2010.
He was a bombastic and larger-than-life personality who spoke bluntly — traits that helped him craft an image as a champion for the working class.
He had undergone 18 months of treatment for a rare cancer — leomorphic liposarcoma — that was initially diagnosed during his 2014 re-election bid, the Toronto Star reported. He underwent surgery that was followed by the discovery of two new tumors, according to the newspaper.
Ford’s time as mayor was plagued by scandal.
In May 2013 a video surfaced that appeared to show Ford smoking crack cocaine.
Ford denied any wrongdoing and ignored those calling for his resignation.
“I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine.”
But as more videos surfaced showing Ford in compromising circumstances, the scrutiny became more intense, and his relationship with the City Council became more acrimonious.
Months later, the admission finally came: He told reporters he “probably” smoked the drug at some point.
“Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine,” he said. “Am I an addict? No. Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors.”
Ford refused to step aside, even after the City Council stripped him of most of his powers.