Former Mayor of Washington D.C. Dies
Marion Barry, who was a longtime District of Columbia mayor and staged a remarkable comeback in politics following an FBI sting in 1990 that videotaped him while smoking crack, has died at age 78 on Sunday.
The City Council of D.C. issued a formal statement that confirmed the death of Barry. Family of Barry said the former D.C. mayor had died just after midnight on Sunday after being released the day before from a hospital at Howard University.
No immediate cause of death was available, but a hospital spokesperson said Barry had collapsed while outside his home.
Barry had been battling problems with his kidneys from high blood pressure and diabetes and had undergone a kidney transplant back in February of 2009.
Barry served since 2005 as a city council member winning his re-election bids on two occasions.
Barry often was referred to by his constituency in Ward 8 as Mayor Barry even though he had not held that office since controversy took hold in 1999.
Speaking at a press conference at 4 a.m. at the United Medical Center where Barry died, Muriel Bowser the mayor elect called Barry a fighter for everyone and an inspiration to so many.
Barry was elected in 1978 to mayor for the first time after building a strong political career as a Washington activist.
He was re-elected in 1982 as well as 1986, receiving a distinction as Mayor for Life.
Barry said he wanted the boards to come of homes and people to be given minimum care regardless of the financial situation they were in.
However, Barry’s received notoriety internationally when he was filmed in a hotel room in downtown Washington smoking crack, with one of his female friends.
He received a conviction of one count of drug possession with jurors deadlocked on the majority of counts. He was given a prison sentence of six months.
Despite that embarrassment, the political career of Barry was not over. In 1992, Barry won a council seat representing the city’s poorest of eight wards.
He was then voted in 1994 to his fourth and last term as D.C. mayor.
Barry was married on four occasions and is survived by Marion Christopher Barry, his son.