MONTREAL – Rob Ford, the once eccentric mayor of Toronto whose reign was marked by bombast and substance abuse, died Tuesday after battling a rare, aggressive cancer the past two years, his family announced.

“No Toronto mayor has been on Jimmy Kimmel and the late night talk shows,” Brett McCaig, co-creator of Rob Ford: The Musical, which played in Toronto in 2014, said Tuesday.

“Toronto has never been so famous in pop culture as it was in the glory days of Rob Ford.”.

His followers called themselves the “Ford Nation,” and he aimed for a second run as mayor.

The current Toronto mayor, John Tory, said the city was reeling from the news of Ford’s death.

Ford came from a wealthy family and first burst on the public stage on talk radio as “a plain-spoken champion of the little guy, always eager to get a pothole fixed,” according to the Toronto Sun.

An image of foolish behavior became fodder for comedians across the U.S., and Rob Ford spent time in rehab.

Mayor Rob Ford