He is dedicated much of his life to the Civil Rights Movement and enhancing his adopted city. He expired on November 23, 2014 in age 78. His dad was employed as a sharecropper and passed away when he was just four. His mother moved the family to Memphis, remarried and raised nine kids. As a young lad, Barry took on multiple occupations to help his family, including picking cotton. This young man used his work ethic to his schooling also. His passion for the Civil Rights Movement kept him from finishing his doctorate. Instead, Barry’s attempts went to the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC); he served as its first national chairman. In 1965, Barry moved to Washington, D.C. to start a local chapter.
In 1967, Barry co-founded Pride, Inc., a jobs program for jobless black men. But his success put Barry in the line of fire, actually. Hanafi Muslims took on the District Building in 1977 and Barry was shot throughout the event. His survival appeared to improve his “unstoppable” picture. The Democrat was reelected two more times. But during his third period, there were rumors of drug abuse. On January 18, 1990, the mayor was captured on tape from the FBI using crack cocaine. The mayor was sentenced to half a year for possession. Yet the scandal did not keep Barry from running for city council after penitentiary. His motto?
Barry retired from politics in 1998 but returned in 2002 with the unsuccessful city council play. His effort faltered after law enforcement reported discovering little hints of crack and cannabis in his illegally parked automobile. No charges were filed. In addition, in the exact same year, Barry needed to pay $35,000 in damages to a girl in a civil case where he was accused of showing himself in an airport toilet. Neither drawback discouraged Barry from running again for city council in 2004 on behalf of Ward 8, among the city’s weakest regions…and winning.
Despite being the political comeback child, Barry continued to have brushes with the law including such accusations as medications, tax evasion, probation violation, traffic violations and stalking. In 2010, nine children was censured and stripped of his committee chairmanship due to corruption allegations. However, in 2012, nine children was elected for a third straight city council period. In June 2014, Barry had released his autobiography, Mayor for Life: The Incredible Story of Marion Barry Jr. In a New York Times interview after its launch, the mayor explained, “I function as an inspiration for people getting through a myriad of matters.”