LONDON, ONT -- Ron Calhoun, the man who coined the phrase "Marathon of Hope" and was the national coordinator of Terry Fox's historic run, has died.

Known as a tireless volunteer, he was the national fundraising chair for the Canadian Cancer Society when Fox started his run in Newfoundland in 1980.

In the 1990s he volunteered with Jesse’s Journey in London and helped John Davidson with his wheelchair trek across Ontario, as well as his cross-Canada walk.

“He was a guy who worked quietly behind the scenes,”, says Davidson. “He was a mentor to me.”

Terry Fox

Besides the Canadian Cancer Society and Jesse’s Journey, among other charities, Calhoun also volunteered with Canadian Diabetes Association and ALS Society of Canada.

Born and raised in London, Calhoun and his family settled in Thamesford, Ont. and he worked at General Motors for 35 years.

Among his many honours, Calhoun was awarded the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 and an honourary Doctor of Laws from Western University in 2011.

Calhoun, who was 86, died Friday morning in London.