Marion Barry


(March 6, 1936 – November 23, 2014) An activist and four-term mayor of Washington, D.C., Marion Barry was born the son of a sharecropper in Mississippi. A participant in the civil rights movement, he became active in electoral politics in the early 1970s. His first elected role was as city councilman in D.C., a post he assumed in 1974. He went on to serve three terms as mayor of the city, from 1979 to 1991, becoming known as a champion for the poor as well as committed to lowering crime and establishing jobs in the nation's capital. In 1990, he was arrested as the result of an FBI operation which videotaped him smoking crack cocaine. After a trial, conviction on one count of possession and a six-month prison sentence, the still-popular Barry won re-election in 1995. Barry passed away at the age of 78 on November 23, 2014.