Former Toronto Mayor and current City Councillor Rob Ford has been hospitalized in Toronto in the latest stage in a two year battle with cancer with his “family beside him,” amid rumors of a rapidly worsening condition. Late this afternoon, Ford’s office issued a statement in response to false rumors that Ford had died.
“With his family beside him, Councillor Ford is currently in hospital as he continues his battle against cancer,” the statement said.
“The Ford family asks for privacy during this difficult time, and thank the people of Toronto and around the world for their ongoing prayers and support.
“Should there be any developments, a further release will follow.”
As readers know, Ford’s already colorful mayoralty exploded as an international story when word of a video showing Ford smoking crack cocaine was first reported by Gawker and then confirmed by The Toronto Star. The news kicked off a tumultuous year of spectacle, eventual admissions of drug use and a byzantine series of stories tying the Mayor to the city’s criminal underworld. After TPM awarded Ford the 2013 Golden Duke Award, then TPM Reporter Hunter Walker traveled to Toronto to present Ford with the Golden Duke statuette. The year of scandal ultimately lead to the release of a second video of the Mayor smoking crack before Ford finally bowed out of his longshot reelection campaign with news that he had been diagnosed with cancer.