Amsterdam mayor Van der Laan passes away at 62
Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan passed away on Thursday, the municipality of Amsterdam announced. He was battling metastasized lung cancer. Van der Laan was 62 years old.
In January, Van der Laan announced that he was diagnosed with metastasized lung cancer, but that he would continue as mayor of Amsterdam for a while. He did so for eight months, with his aldermen taking over some of his duties when he was too sick to work.
On Monday September 18th, the Amsterdam mayor announced that he was stepping down. His doctors informed him that there was nothing more they could do for him. He wrote a letter to Amsterdam residents to say his goodbyes. He spent his remaining time at home with his family.
Van der Laan's resignation was met with sorrow and understanding. Thousands of people gathered outside his home, to give him a standing ovation and show him support. His wife and children came outside to thank the people, saying that Van der Laan would have loved to stand there himself, but was too ill to come outside. One photographer managed to snap a picture of him watching through the window.
King Willem-Alexander, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher all visited Van der Laan at home last week.