Former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry Dies at 78

Longtime Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Barry died Saturday night at the age of 78. No cause of death was given.

Barry was an extraordinarily powerful politician in D.C., serving three terms as mayor and becoming almost as synonymous with the position as Mayor Daley was in Chicago. Barry even bounced back to a fourth term after an arrest and scandal for smoking crack, and continued to serve for years on D.C.’s city council.

His policies, including a summer jobs program, housing rehabilitation, and diversification of city government, were prized for giving a leg up to D.C.’s African American community, though his tenure became increasingly marred by charges of corruption.

Barry continued to be a risible presence in American politics, and seemed to make headlines every time he spoke, whether he was riffing on “Asians and their dirty shops” or cursing at Geraldo on air or decrying a non-existent yogurt tax in D.C.

[h/t Washington Post]

[Image via Ryan Rodrick Beiler /]

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