LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Tom Sherak, the former Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president recently appointed as L.A.’s film czar, has died at the age of 68.

The Sherak family said in a statement Tuesday he passed away at his home following a long battle with prostate cancer.

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“To the entertainment community, With broken hearts we want to share with you the news that Tom Sherak passed away today after a long 12 year battle with prostate cancer. He died at home surrounded by his family giving him hugs, kisses, and love,” the statement reads.

“Tom is, was, and always will be, our loving husband, daddy, papa, brother, friend, and ‘Go to Guy.’  He blessed this earth for 68 incredible years, and he will be missed every single day.

“Tom lived his life as an open book. He opened his heart and let the world in, and anyone who was lucky enough to know him knew first hand the power of his love. He gave everything he had to help others, regardless of whether or not he knew them. Tom is a true hero in our lives who has a star on the sidewalk and wings to fly. We love him so very much.”

Sherak served as president of the Academy for three years, with his tenure ending in August 2012.

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He was appointed a senior adviser and director of the city’s Entertainment Industry and Production Office by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti in September.

Garcetti applauded Sherak’s work in a statement, and said his former colleague would be “deeply missed.”

“I am devastated to learn of the passing of my close friend and advisor Tom Sherak. Tom was a true Hollywood original, moving up the ladder to promote blockbusters, running the Oscars and having a bulging rolodex filled with not just A-list contacts, but so many close friends who were smitten by his humor, drive, and spirit,” he said.

“In just a few short months, Tom laid a policy foundation that my Administration will stand on for the next four years. Tom’s work will continue through my office and the many charities to which he devoted so much of himself.

“Tom was a public servant in the truest sense long before he joined my administration. He will be deeply missed.”

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