Marion Barry dead at age 78.
Marion Barry, the former mayor of Washington, DC has passed away at the age of 78. Hospital spokeswoman Natalie Williams said Barry arrived at the hospital around 12:30 a.m. and died at 1:46 a.m. He had been released from Howard University Hospital on Saturday following a brief stay. There was no cause was given, but he had suffered from many health problems over the years, including diabetes, prostate cancer and kidney ailments. Barry was married four times and is survived by one son, Marion Christopher Barry.
Barry was first elected mayor in 1978, then re-elected in 1982 and 1986. However, Barry was probably most famous when he gained international notoriety in 1990 when he was videotaped in an FBI sting smoking crack in a downtown Washington hotel room with a female friend. He was convicted on one count of drug possession and sentenced to six months in prison. Unbelievably, after getting out of prison, Barry was elected to a fourth, and final, term as mayor in 1994. It probably spoke more to the disarray of DC than anything else.
Former District of Columbia Mayor Marion Barry, whose four terms were overshadowed by his 1990 arrest after being caught on videotape smoking crack cocaine, died Sunday morning. He was 78.
Barry D.C. council spokeswoman LaToya Foster says he died shortly after midnight Sunday at a hospital in Washington. He had battled kidney problems stemming from diabetes and high blood pressure and underwent a kidney transplant in February 2009.
But he gained international notoriety in 1990 when he was videotaped in an FBI sting smoking crack in a downtown Washington hotel room with a female friend. He was convicted of a single count of drug possession — jurors had deadlocked on most counts — and sentenced to six months in prison.
Despite the embarrassment, Barry’s political career was far from over. In 1992, he made it back to city government, winning a council seat representing the poorest of the city’s eight wards. That victory helped propel him to a fourth, and final, term as mayor in 1994.
UPDATE I: Barack Obama paid tribute to the late mayor:
President Obama on Sunday paid tribute to the late Marion Barry, saying the former Washington, D.C., mayor and councilman made a mark fighting against poverty and spearheading other initiatives that earned him the respect of his city.