The influential crack cocaine smoker and former Washington D.C Mayor, Marrion Barry, died in the early hours of Sunday November 23.
Marrion Barry, the world-famous, sometimes considered controversial, politician and twice elected former Mayor of the U.S capitol city, Washington D.C, died shortly after midnight on Sunday EST. The previous day Barry had been released from the care of the Howard University Hospital’s medical staff, only to be rushed to the United Medical Center, where he later passed away.
As of yet, no official details have been released as to what the cause of the 78 year old’s death was, but it has been reported that prior to his death he had collapsed on the threshold of his home. Barry had been battling high blood pressure and diabetes for the last several years and was noted to have undergone a kidney transplant procedure in February of 2009.
Marrion Barry was born in 1936 during a racially intolerant era of U.S history. His parents were of simple means and sustained their lively hood through the physically demanding career of sharecropping.
In the 1960s, Barry was very active in the African-American Civil rights movement. Within that group, he rose through the ranks to become the first chair-man of the Student Non-violent Coordinating committee. He first ran for Mayor of Washington D.C in 1979, after winning the popular vote he held his position as Mayor until 1991. Then being re-elected in 1995 and held the seat until 1999.
In 1990, Marrion gained world notoriety as a crack-cocaine user after he was secretly video taped using crack cocaine or also known as “partying”. The shocking video led to his arrest by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and resulted in a six month prison sentence. Several years after his release, in 1995, once again Barry ran for Mayor of Washington D.C and was again, elected into office, despite his six month sentence in prison or drug charges.
Marrion Barry was regarded to be a very popular and influential figure in the turbulent political scene of Washington D.C. He was said to be a man of high moral standards by both the public and press alike; being dubbed, “The Mayor of life”, by the Washington City Paper and at one time the Washington Post had written about him:
“To Understand the District of Columbia, you must understand Marrion Barry.”
Although, Marrion Barry was known to use dangerous and highly addictive, illegal substances, it did not destroy the fact that he was an influential man of change, that was held in high regard in the hearts of many.