Photo: AP

Rob Ford, the former mayor of Toronto, died this morning at the age of 46, according to reports out of the city.

Ford’s health had been rapidly worsening recently. Last week, Ford’s family released a statement about his health in response to premature rumors of his death, announcing that the current city councilman was in the hospital to continue “his battle against cancer.”

In 2014, Ford announced he had liposarcoma, a rare form of cancer that grows in the body’s soft tissue. In October 2015, Ford revealed that the cancer had spread to his bladder. Speaking to press outside a Toronto hospital, Ford seemed to acknowledge that his life was nearing its end, asking for people to help his wife and two children.

“I’m optimistic, and I’m a realist too. If that has spread once, where else has it gone?” he told a press scrum outside Toronto’s Mt. Sinai hospital.

“If I pass before my time, I just ask people to please try to help out Dougie and Stephanie and Renata in any way you can.”

Ford became an international figure after this website broke the story that a video of the mayor smoking crack was being shopped around to news outlets. Ford later admitted that he had tried crack, which dovetailed with his public persona as a jolly but ultimately harmless boozer who barreled down the hallways of city council, drunkenly spoke in patois at a place called Steak Queen and confidently told the press that he could not have eaten a staffer’s pussy because he can just do that at home.

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But Ford was also a notorious racist, sexist, and homophobe. He allegedly mercilessly beat his friend with a pipe the night that he was filmed smoking crack, and his actual policies as mayor were similarly that of someone who was a petty thug.