CHICAGO (WLS) -- Retired Chicago Police Officer John Garrido died early Wednesday morning after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
Garrido retired after a 38-year career with the Chicago Police Department- most of it spent as an undercover narcotics officer. Famous for his colorful outfits, he looked the part and fit the mold.
WATCH: Candlelight vigil for retired Chicago cop fighting COVID-19
"There's nobody that I don't run into that's an officer that knows my dad and doesn't just gush about what a great police officer he was and what a great human being he is, in general," his son, John Garrido III, said.
Before joining the department, Garrido served three years in the 101st Airborne Division, jumping out of airplanes. To those who know him, he seemed bigger than life - but he was not apparently bigger than COVID-19.
The 76-year-old was diagnosed with the virus more than two months ago and almost immediately taken to the ICU. A short time later, he was put on a ventilator.
His family, who wasn't allowed inside his room to visit, had been sharing updates about his progress on social media.
"I started posting about Dad just because he knows so many people and I started getting calls and texts," Garrido III said. "The one place I could put information was there."
Late last month, his family invited friends to a candlelight vigil outside his hospital.
"Our family, we're big believers in prayer, that prayer helps. So he's got thousands of people that are praying, not just here, but around the world," his son said.