MIAMI – Maurice Ferré, who served as Miami mayor for nearly 12 years, died Thursday at the age of 84.
Ferré had been battling spinal cancer for more than a year when he passed away at his Coconut Grove home.
From 1973 to 1985, Ferré served as the city's first-ever Hispanic mayor and oversaw a period of great growth in Miami that saw it become a major business hub and gateway to South America.
"He was always prepared, inspiringly articulate, and never accepting of mediocrity." said current Miami mayor Francis Suarez. "His qualities and character have inspired me and countless others to carry on his legacy of elevating Miami as a diverse, vibrant, and global world-class city. He will be dearly missed.”
After leaving office, Ferré returned to the political life in 1993 when he became the Vice-Chairman of the Miami-Dade County Commission.
Ferré failed in his bids to become Miami-Dade mayor in 1996 and Miami mayor again in 2001.
In spite of those setbacks, Ferré said he was proud of his life in public service.
"It's a vocation, it's a calling, but I think there are different ways of serving in the Lord's vineyard and I think that's one of the better ones." said Ferré years before his passing.