Jack Layton Dead: Canada’s Jack Layton Dies at 61


jack laytonCanada’s opposition party leader Jack Layton has died after battling cancer Monday morning at the age of 61.

Layton’s New Democrat party said in a statement that Layton died peacefully at his Toronto home with his family by his side.

Layton had led the New Democrat party to a historic victory earlier in the year, beating out the Liberals to become the official opposition party in Canada–the first time in the party’s 50 years.

The New Democrats won 103 seats in the May federal election, up from a previous 37.

Layton, battling cancer, had carried a cane throughout the campaign but his health showed signs of improvement.

In February, Layton made his battle with prostate cancer public and continued working while receiving treatment.

Recently, tests had shown he had another type of cancer as well, but Layton never went into detail about it.

On Monday, the flag on the peace tower on Parliament Hill was lowered to half-staff.

Layton was married to Hong Kong-born Olivia Chow, also a former Toronto city councilor, and now the New Democrat Parliament member for a downtown Toronto district.

He has two children, Sarah and Mike, from a previous marriage. Mike is now a Toronto city councilor.

Funeral details have not yet been announced.

With AP