02/02/2014 09:52 EST | Updated 04/04/2014 05:59 EDT

The roots of Rob Ford: New book explores mayor’s upbringing

A new book takes a closer look at the personal life of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, probing his upbringing as the son of a successful businessman and the factors that have shaped his character.

Robyn Doolittle, a journalist at the Toronto Star, is the author of Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story.

She recently spoke to CBC’s The National about what she learned about Ford while researching and writing her forthcoming book.

"He grew up in this really wealthy family and I think that is what is so interesting about him because he kind of presents himself as this champion of the working class and he grew up with a silver spoon his mouth," Doolittle told The National.

Doolittle said that Ford and his siblings grew up "trying to impress their father and gain his acceptance," which she believes is a dynamic that continues to influence the mayor and other family members today.

According to Doolittle, the death of Ford’s father in 2006 left the future mayor "utterly devastated" and appears to have triggered some of his substance abuse problems.

Click on the video above to hear what Doolittle told The National about Ford, his family and the challenges he has faced in his personal life.