Rob Ford, who gained international notoriety during his scandal-ridden term as mayor of Toronto, died after a battle with cancer, officials announced Tuesday.
The 46-year-old was diagnosed with pleomorphic liposarcoma two years ago and was forced to bow out of a reelection bid for the mayor's office. He ran for city council instead and won.
In 2013, then-Mayor Ford admitted to smoking crack cocaine after months of denials. His admission sparked international media attention but he refused to resign, saying the incident took place during one of his "drunken stupors." He went to rehab for two months.
Ford won his Ward 2 city council seat in 2014, capturing 59 percent of the vote, CNN reported.
"His time in City Hall included moments of kindness, of generosity to his council colleagues and real efforts to do what he thought was best for Toronto," Mayor John Tory said in a statement. "He was, above all else, a profoundly human guy whose presence in our city will be missed."
Tory added: "On behalf of the people of the City of Toronto, I offer my sincere condolences to his loved ones at this time."
"A dedicated man of the people, Councillor Ford spent his life serving the citizens of Toronto," the statement read. "The family asks that you respect their privacy and join them in their grieving and their prayers."
Last week, Ford Chief of Staff Dan Jacobs told the Associated Press that the councillor had undergone about 10 rounds of chemotherapy and doctors were evaluating whether he had the strength to endure more.
The conservative-leaning Ford was elected as mayor in 2010 as he promised to cut government spending. His time in office was strikingly at odds with the typical image of calm Canadian politics. He made controversial statements, including an obscenity-laden rant in which he threatened murder, and spoke about oral sex on live television.
In 2014, after he won his city council seat, Ford was asked by reporters to reflect on his tenure as mayor.
“It will definitely be remembered, put it that way,” Ford said laughing, according to the Star. “No one’s going to forget it.”
He added: “They’re going to remember it the way they want to remember it. A lot of it’s, you know, personal choice. People know that I saved a lot of money and people are going to know that I had a few personal struggles and so you can remember it for what you want, but they’re definitely going to remember it.”
This post has been updated.