Former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre dies at 84

FILE- In This Oct. 26, 2001 file photo, Maurice Ferre, with microphone addresses supporters in the Little Havana district of Miami. Ferre was the Miami mayor from 1973-1985. Ferre died Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. He was 84. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)

MIAMI | Former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre, who’s widely regarded as the father of modern-day Miami, has died. He was 84.

Ferre’s son Carlos says his father died Thursday morning surrounded by family at his Coconut Grove home. He had been battling cancer for about two years.

Ferre, whose family moved to Miami from Puerto Rico, led the city’s government from 1973 to 1985 as Miami developed into an international hub and gateway to Latin America.

Carlos Ferre said of his father: “Miami was his passion. He always wanted to see how it could build and advance itself.”

The Miami Herald reports that Ferre was instrumental in integrating the city’s workforce and fostering high-rise development in downtown.

Earlier this year, the city renamed a downtown Miami park in Ferre’s honor.

Information from: The Miami Herald,