Birthday: May 28, 1969
Died At Age: 46
Sun Sign: Gemini
Also Known As: Robert Bruce Ford
Born in: Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada
Famous as: Former Mayor of Toronto
political ideology: Political party Independent (2000–present) Note: municipal politicians in Ontario, including Toronto, run on a nonpartisan basis, Other political affiliations - Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario
Spouse/Ex-: Renata Ford
father: Doug Ford
siblings: Doug Ford Jr., Kathy Ford, Randy Ford
children: Doug Ford, Stephanie Ford
Died on: March 22, 2016
place of death: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Cause of Death: Cancer
education: Scarlett Heights Entrepreneurial Academy, Carleton University
Who was Rob Ford?
Rob Ford was a Canadian politician who served as Mayor of Toronto from 2010 to 2014. Before serving as the mayor of Toronto he was active in the political scene for many years and was both a popular and a notorious figure. Born as the son of a prominent politician cum businessman, he received a good education and first set his eyes upon becoming a football player. However, he could not achieve his teenage dream despite making it to the football squad while studying political science at the Carleton University in Ottawa. Eventually he began managing the family business along with his mother and siblings after the death of his father. He ventured into politics in 2000 when he was first elected to City Council in the Toronto municipal election. He served three terms as the city councilor before running successfully for the mayor in the 2010 mayoral election. As mayor he became embroiled in several professional and personal controversies and legal proceedings. However, he refused to resign in spite of the scandals and even planned to run for the next mayoral election. But serious health issues and a diagnosis of cancer forced him to withdraw from the mayoral race.
Childhood & Early Life
Robert Bruce “Rob” Ford was born on May 28, 1969, in Etobicoke, Ontario, to Ruth Diane and Douglas Bruce Ford, Sr. as the youngest of their four children. His father was the founder of Deco Labels and Tags, which makes pressure-sensitive labels for plastic-wrapped grocery products. Along with being a businessman, Douglas Ford was also a politician who served as a Progressive Conservative Member of the Ontario Legislature from 1995–1999.
Rob attended the public Scarlett Heights Collegiate. As a young boy he dreamed of becoming a professional football player and his father encouraged him in his pursuit and sent him to attend special camps of the Washington Redskins and the University of Notre Dame.
After completing high school he enrolled in the Carleton University in Ottawa to study political science. He was selected into the football squad but did not play any games. He dropped out of college after one year.
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Back home, he took up a sales job in his father’s company. Like his father, he too had a keen interest in politics and he ran for the Toronto City Council in 1997. He was unsuccessful in his debut attempt and was placed fourth. However, he gained significant experience in this election which would prove useful to him in future.
He again ran for the councilor in Ward 2 Etobicoke North in the following election in 2000. This time he defeated incumbent Elizabeth Brown in what was considered one of several upsets in Etobicoke.
As a councilor, he gained much popularity as a powerful and passionate speaker. He was a strong critic of councilors’ spending which endeared him to his supporters. However, along with being a popular politician, he also gained considerable negative publicity because of his controversial statements and brushes with law.
In spite of the personal and professional scandals surrounding him, he easily won the re-elections in 2003 and 2006. He served a total of three terms as city councilor from 2000 until October 2010.
He contested the Toronto mayoral election, 2010, and emerged victorious with 47% of the vote. Ford’s campaign was based on ending wasteful spending at City Hall which was one of the biggest concerns among citizens, and by focusing on this area, he was able to attract the voters.
Ford promised to “end the gravy train”—the positions in which a person receives excessive and unjustified money or advantages with little or no effort. This resonated with the working-class voters and raised their expectations from him. In keeping up with this promise, the budget committee of council passed several recommendations to cut staff through layoffs and buyouts in 2011.
During his mayoral campaign, Ford had also proposed to build underground lines in place of surface light rail transit (LRT) lines of Transit City. As the mayor, he negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Ontario and the City of Toronto for the Metrolinx provincial transit agency to build the Crosstown LRT entirely underground.
Over the course of his political career Ford was the subject of several controversies and scandals, including allegations of domestic abuse by his wife. In 2013, his notoriety as a controversial public figure touched new heights when his involvement in a substance abuse scandal came to light.
The case was widely reported in national and international media, and the police discovered videos of Ford engaging in activities including public drunkenness, drinking and driving, and illegal drug use. Ford admitted to all of the incidents but refused to resign.
The Toronto City Council did not have the power to remove Ford from office, so two separate motions were passed in November 2013 to strip him of certain mayoral powers which were then granted to Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly for the remainder of Ford's term.
Personal Life & Legacy
Rob Ford married Renata Brejniak, his high school sweetheart, in 2000. The couple has two children. There were allegations of domestic violence against Ford, but no charges were made as the police could not find any concrete proofs.
He suffered from several health problems including asthma and kidney stones. He was diagnosed with an aggressive and rare type of cancer in 2014 for which he received treatment.
Despite treatment, Ford's health continued to deteriorate and he died on March 22, 2016, at the age of just 46. Ford was buried at Riverside Cemetery in Etobicoke along side his father.