Former Toronto mayor Rob Ford dies after fighting cancer

FILE - In this Nov. 21, 2014, file photo, Toronto's outgoing Mayor Rob Ford, front center, stands next to his brother Doug Ford outside his office as he speaks with the media before signing bobblehead dolls in his likeness in Toronto. Doctors have removed a cancerous tumor from the former Toronto mayor's abdomen and he has regained consciousness after an intensive surgery that kept him under anesthesia for about 10 hours, his chief of staff said late Monday, May 11, 2015. (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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