Toronto Mayor Rob Ford talks during council at City Hall in Toronto, Nov. 13, 2013.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford talks during council at City Hall in Toronto, Nov. 13, 2013.

Rob Ford, the controversial former mayor of Toronto, died Tuesday morning at the age of 46 following a battle with cancer.

The former mayor of Canada’s largest city was best known for his problems with illegal drugs and alcohol. In November 2013, Ford admitted to smoking crack cocaine after a video surfaced showing him lighting and then inhaling from a glass pipe.

A few days after the admission, the Toronto City Council voted overwhelmingly to remove most aspects of Ford’s executive power and handed the power over to his deputy mayor, Norm Kelly. Ford served out the remainder of his mayoral term with limited powers.

In addition to the crack cocaine video, Ford was recorded on several occasions while drunk in public and, at one point, admitted to driving while drunk.

The mayor had a testy relationship with the media, sometimes trying to rush away from reporters as they asked him questions.  In one incident, the mayor was looking down as he walked and smashed face first into a TV camera.

Ford had been in palliative care at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City since Thursday.

Ford’s brother, Doug, told the Toronto Star that family members were with Rob at the hospital for the length of his stay. “I have been at the hospital for the last five days and nights by his side,” he said.

Ford had been undergoing treatment for pleomorphic liposarcoma, an aggressive type of cancer in his abdomen, for about 18 months before he succumbed to the disease on Tuesday.

Ford registered to run for mayor again in 2014, but left the race suddenly two months before the election after he learned of the tumor in his abdomen. Instead, Ford ran for and won election as a city councilor in his old ward seat.

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