Former Washington Mayor Is Dead

Marion Barry, former Washington DC Mayor, who won re-election after a drug arrest, has died at the age of 78.

He died overnight at a hospital in Washington, DC, Council spokeswoman, LaToya Foster said.

Barry, a Democrat served three terms from 1979 to 1991 before his personal life overshadowed his politics.

He was arrested in an FBI sting operation and tried on drug charges in 1990, but was only convicted on a single count of possession.

He remained popular with many poorer African American voters, and served a final term as mayor from 1995 to 1999.

His 1990 arrest – during his third term – came after he was videotaped by the FBI smoking crack in a Washington hotel room with a female friend.

During the subsequent trial jurors remained deadlocked on most counts. His conviction for drug possession led to a six-month prison sentence.

Born in Mississippi in 1936, Barry was active in the civil rights movements in Washington in the 1960s, and was first elected to the city council in 1974.

He went on to dominate Washington’s politics for a quarter-century and was sometimes dubbed “Mayor for Life.”

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