Former Toronto mayor Rob Ford dies after fighting cancer

In a July 9, 2014 file photo Toronto Mayor Rob Ford leaves his office at city hall in Toronto to take part in a vote. Health officials Wednesday Sept. 9, 2014, say Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been admitted to a hospital and is believed to have a tumor. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young, file)

TORONTO (AP) — Rob Ford, the pugnacious, populist former mayor of Toronto whose career crashed in a drug-driven, obscenity-laced debacle, died Tuesday after fighting cancer, his family says. He was 46.

Ford rode into office on a backlash against urban elites. He cast an image sharply at odds with Canada’s reputation for sedate, unpretentious politics.

But his tenure as mayor of the country’s largest city was marred by revelations about his drinking problems and illegal drug use. He was repeatedly videotaped and photographed while intoxicated in public.

His statements and actions became nightly fodder for TV comedians and an embarrassment to many of the suburbanites he championed.

Nevertheless, he was later elected by a landslide to a city council seat.

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