Sad news out of Washington DC came across the wires early Sunday morning as it was announced that former Mayor Marion Barry died Sunday at the age of 78.
His family said in statement that Barry died shortly after midnight at the United Medical Center, after having been released from Howard University Hospital on Saturday.
Take a look at the story in the video below.
According to the AP, Barry was born March 6, 1936, to Marion and Mattie Barry, in the small Mississippi delta town of Itta Bena. Barry was subsequently raised in Memphis, Tenn., upon of passing of his sharecropper father.
Barry attended LeMoyne College and did his graduate work in chemistry at Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., earning a master’s degree. He left school short of a doctorate to work in the civil rights movement.
His political rise began in 1960, when he became the first national chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, which sent young people into the South to register black voters and became known as one of the most militant civil rights groups of that era.
Barry’s work with the committee brought him to Washington, where he became immersed in local issues, joining boycotts of the bus system and leading rallies in support of the city’s fledgling home rule efforts.
In recent years, Barry suffered numerous health ailments including kidney failure and prostate cancer. In early 2014, he spent several weeks in hospitals and a rehabilitation center battling infections and related complications.
In a statement Sunday, current Mayor Vincent C. Gray expressed deep sadness after learning about Barry’s death. Gray spoke with Barry’s wife, Cora Masters Barry, late Saturday and shared his condolences and sympathies with her.
“Marion was not just a colleague but also was a friend with whom I shared many fond moments about governing the city. He loved the District of Columbia and so many Washingtonians loved him.”
Mayor Gray said that he would work with Barry’s family and the Council to plan official ceremonies “worthy of a true statesman of the District of Columbia.”
Barry is survived by his wife, Cora, and one son, Marion Christopher Barry.
We send our thoughts out to the family, friends, constituents and fans of Marion Barry.