FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Former Republican City Councilman Dr. John Crawford passed away Sunday.

Crawford, a radiation oncologist, became more widely known throughout the community through his time on Fort Wayne City Council. The republican was first elected to an At-large seat in 1995.

“There is nothing, nothing that I am not proud of as to how John Crawford conducted himself both as a politician both as a candidate and of course as an elected official,” Steve Shine, Chairman of the Allen County Republican Party, told WANE 15 in an interview Monday.

In 2007, he led the charge of implementing Fort Wayne’s total smoking ban, an effort that sparked many restaurant and bar owners to threaten to vote him out of office. That happened in November 2007, but Crawford said his support of the Harrison Square project was what cost him his seat.

In 2011, Crawford was elected back to City Council and he held that At-large seat until he ran for mayor in 2019. He lost in the republican primary and decided to leave politics and focus on his medical career.

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Crawford served on the board of the Allen County Cancer Society and the Fort Wayne Healthy Cities Committee.

Several elected officials shared thoughts on Crawford’s passing.

Councilman Tom Didier:

It is with a very sad heart that I am sending this note about my dear friend John Crawford’s passing. My heart goes out to Marcia and Grant as well as the many lives he’s touched through his medical practice and public service. I will always remember his intelligence and his passion at the the city council table and our private conversations about the future of Fort Wayne. His presence, his great advice, and most importantly his friendship will be dearly missed. Please keep the Crawford family in your prayers.

Mayor Tom Henry:

I’m deeply saddened by the sudden death of my friend Dr. John Crawford. He worked tirelessly for our city in his position as City Councilman At-Large and stayed very involved even after he left office. I had the honor of working with him on several pieces of legislation. Cindy and I send our heartfelt condolences to his family on their loss.

City councilman Russ Jehl:

I am gutted. The City lost a true statesman, and I lost a close friend and a mentor

Allen County Commissioners:

We were saddened to learn of the passing of our friend Dr. John Crawford. Our heartfelt condolences and prayers for comfort go out to Marcia and the family during this difficult time.  John was a true public servant and someone we had come to lean on for guidance as we made decisions impacting all of Fort Wayne and Allen County.  John’s dedication and contributions to the community were second to none. His reasonable and practical approach to problem-solving will be sorely missed.

Crawford was born in New Orleans February 5, 1949 and moved to Fort Wayne in 1976. He then joined Fort Wayne Radiology and worked with cancer patients until 1983. He also served as medical director of radiation oncology services at Parkview Regional Oncology Center.

Crawford married his wife Marcia in 1994 and had one son, Grant, who was Crawford’s campaign chairman. Crawford was 73. Funeral services haven’t been announced yet.