The Canadian politician, who caused widespread controversy during his mayoral term, earning him the title of "world's most famous mayor," was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in 2014.
He underwent surgery in 2015, but two more tumors were discovered, forcing him to undergo multiple rounds of chemotherapy and radiation.
The Ford family announced his death Tuesday in a brief statement, describing the former mayor as a "dedicated man of the people" who "spent his life serving the citizens of Toronto."
John Tory, the current mayor of Toronto, and long-time political opponent of Ford, commented: "I have known Rob Ford for many years. He was a man who spoke his mind and who ran for office because of the deeply felt convictions that he had."
"Rob Ford grew up in a family with a strong tradition of political involvement and community service. And he upheld that tradition throughout his life," said Kathleen Wynne, the Prime Minister of the province of Ontario.
Outspoken to the point of indelicacy, Rob Ford was a devoted and energetic politician, whose initial support was widespread. Unfortunately, his term was soon overshadowed by his drug abuse, which he repeatedly denied in spite of overwhelming evidence, but later admitted. He underwent rehab and returned to politics, only to face cancer one year later.
Ford gained his notoriety, in part, through many controversial quotes, even commenting on his own term as, "You can remember it for what you want, but they're definitely going to remember it."
"Those Oriental people work like dogs. They work their hearts out. They are workers non-stop. They sleep beside their machines. That's why they're successful in life. I went to Seoul, South Korea, I went to Taipei, Taiwan. I went to Tokyo, Japan. That's why these people are so hard workers (sic). I'm telling you, the Oriental people, they're slowly taking over," he stated at one point. In other comments he would say, "If you haven't got a job, you won't need transit. If you cannot leave your house to go to or look for a job, what's the sense in having transit?"
He also claimed, "I've taken the city, which was literally on the cliff, and brought it back, and people are very happy," adding on another occasion, "If people hate me so much they wouldn't be climbing over each other to try to get a picture or an autograph from me."
Possibly one of his most remarkable comments was delivered unedited, "Nobody sticks up for people like I do, every f*cking k*ke, ni**er, f*cking wop, dago, whatever the race. Nobody does. I'm the most racist guy around. I'm the mayor of Toronto."