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Rob Ford, controversial former Toronto mayor, dead at 46 from rare cancer

By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |   March 22, 2016 at 12:04 PM

TORONTO, March 22 (UPI) -- Rob Ford, the former mayor of Toronto who became infamous after a term filled with scandals, died on Tuesday at the age of 46 from a rare form of cancer called pleomorphic liposarcoma.

Ford served as a Toronto city councilor for 10 years before being elected as the mayor of the city in 2010. He was diagnosed in 2014 during his mayoral re-election campaign with pleomorphic liposarcoma, which is the rarest subtype of cancerous liposarcoma, which has a 10-year survival rate of 39 percent.

He was forced to suspend his campaign for mayor after the diagnosis in order to receive treatment. He ran for, and won, a seat in the city council instead.

Ford was the center of a massively publicized substance abuse political scandal while still mayor. He initially denied allegations of public drunkenness, drunken driving and illicit drug use, but later admitted to battling a drug and alcohol addiction after a video released in 2013 by police showed Ford smoking crack cocaine. He admitted to smoking the substance "probably in one of my drunken stupors."

After admitting to the accusations but refusing to resign, he was stripped from most of his mayoral powers by Toronto's city council.

Despite the political scandal surrounding Ford, he maintained some degree of public support. Some believed his illicit actions did little to impact his term as mayor and he was seen as a serious contender in the 2014 mayoral race.

"People know that I saved a lot of money, and people are going to know that I had a few personal struggles," Ford said in October 2014. "So you can remember it for what you want, but they're definitely going to remember it."

Ford is survived by his wife, Renata; his children, Stephanie and Douglas; his mother, Diane; his brothers, Doug and Randy; and his sister, Kathy.

"A dedicated man of the people, Councillor Ford spent his life serving the citizens of Toronto," Ford's family said in a statement.

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