November 23, 2014 6:01 am -

Former Washington Mayor Marion Barry is dead at 78, a hospital spokeswoman said on Sunday. The four-term mayor was a council member for Washington’s 8th ward at the time of his death.

[su_center_ad]Barry’s family said in statement that the former died shortly after midnight at the United Medical Center, after having been released from Howard University Hospital on Saturday, according to the AP.

“Marion was not just a colleague but also was a friend with whom I shared many fond moments about governing the city,” Mayor Vincent C. Gray said in a statement. “He loved the District of Columbia and so many Washingtonians loved him.”

Barry’s legacy will be overshadowed by his arrest in 1990 after police surveillance footage captured him lighting a crack pipe in a downtown Washington hotel room with a younger woman.

She “set me up,” Barry said, as FBI agents burst into the room.

Barry was investigated for years by Federal authorities over his alleged ties to drug suspects, which he denied.

Barry was ultimately convicted of a single count of drug possession.

He served a six-month term in federal prison but to some, he remained a hero. To others, he was an embarrassment.

In 1992, Barry returned to the D.C. Council in 1992, and represented the poorest of the city’s eight wards.

He was elected to his fourth term as mayor in 1992.

Barry released his autobiography, “Mayor for Life: The Incredible Story of Marion Barry, Jr.” a title noting his lengthy career in politics in D.C.

But that single night will be remembered after grainy video footage was released displaying his misdeed in a hotel room in the 90s.

H/T: The incomparable @CarlaAkins with thanks. [su_csky_ad]

Image: Getty

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

5 responses to Former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry Dead At 78

  1. StoneyCurtisll November 23rd, 2014 at 6:05 am

    I didn’t know Barry was that old…(78)
    RIP brother..

  2. burqa November 23rd, 2014 at 6:58 am

    Barry certainly was an interesting man. I had fun commenting on him back in the day, but obviously now is not the time.
    Thoughts and prayers for his family and loved ones.

  3. rg9rts November 23rd, 2014 at 7:04 am

    RIP if anything you were colorful and provided us with some comic relief from the usual political BS

  4. Suzanne McFly November 23rd, 2014 at 8:24 am

    I remember when he was caught on video smoking crack, it was running on TV constantly it seemed. It was a huge deal and no one could believe a politician would do such a thing. Looking at how corrupt our politicians are now, getting bought and paid for by the robber barons of our day, I wouldn’t feel so terrible about a politician being caught while abusing crack, at least it is only themselves they are hurting.

    • Larry Schmitt November 23rd, 2014 at 8:36 am

      And any legacy he may have left is tarnished by that one line, caught on tape: “Bitch set me up.” If there had been such a thing as an internet meme at the time, that would have become one.