Marion Barry Dies; Former D.C. Mayor Was 78

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Marion Barry, one of the more controversial political figures of modern times, died this morning from causes not yet known.

He was 78 years old.

Marion Barry Image

Barry rose to national prominent after he was caught by the FBI while smoking crack in a hotel room with a young woman.

He screamed “she set me up!” upon being arrested by authorities, but, incredibly, this incident did NOT derail his career.

Barry served four rearms as Mayor - including a re-election after serving time in prison - and was often the butt of jokes from comedians, talk show hosts and, most often, on Saturday Night Live.

Barry was a council member for Washington's 8th ward at the time of his passing.

"Marion was not just a colleague but also was a friend with whom I shared many fond moments about governing the city," Mayor Vincent C. Gray said in a statement today. “He loved the District of Columbia and so many Washingtonians loved him."

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