Toronto's Crack-Smoking Mayor Was Also a Fighter

Mar 22 2016

Toronto’s Crack-Smoking Mayor Was Also a Fighter

Toronto’s former mayor, Rob Ford, has succumbed to cancer at Toronto’s Mount Sinai palliative care unit at the age of 46. Mayor Ford became world-famous in 2013, when a video that showed him smoking crack was leaked to the press.

Despite finally admitting to heavy drinking and drug use and taking a leave of absence, Ford decided to press on with a 2014 reelection bid. It would have made a remarkable addition to the Pantheon of political comebacks, but he had to abandon the attempt when he was diagnosed with an abdominal tumor.

While in the public eye, Mayor Ford was also caught urinating behind a public school and knocked over an elderly city council member during a debate. Even before the drug scandal, he was known for his colorful antics—famously telling Canada’s parliament that “cyclists are a pain in the ass” (when he was chastised for cursing, he said “I will retract the word ‘ass'”).

Robert Ford retained his hopes of a political comeback and was serving as a city council member when he died. In January he tweeted, “I’ll be on the ballot for Mayor in 2018.” Ford was hoping to undergo experimental cancer treatment when he passed.

Canadian politicians and public figures have paid fond tributes to him. Despite his drug-related issues, he never gave up.