POLITICS

Marion Christopher Barry, Son Of Former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, Dead At 36

Barry reportedly died of a drug overdose.
Marion Christopher Barry, pictured during his bid to fill his father's D.C. city council seat, attends a candidate
Marion Christopher Barry, pictured during his bid to fill his father's D.C. city council seat, attends a candidate forum on February 9, 2015.

Marion Christopher Barry, the son of the dynamic former Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, has died of a drug overdose, NBC Washington reports. He was 36. 

NBC4’s Tom Sherwood, who has covered the Barry family extensively, confirmed the younger Barry’s death after speaking with Cora Masters Barry, the ex-mayor’s widow, on Sunday. 

In 2015, Barry tried his hand at politics and ran for his father’s city council seat after the former mayor’s death, but he was unsuccessful, finishing in sixth place. Barry, who had commonly gone by “Christopher,” put his name on the ballot as Marion C. Barry. 

That same year, Barry narrowly avoided jail time over a disruption at a Washington bank where he allegedly threatened a teller he thought had a grudge against his family and smashed a security camera with a trash can.

Since the early 2000s, Barry had trouble with “minor but serious skirmishes,” including driving and drug offenses, Sherwood said in an interview Sunday.

“Ever since his mother died in 2007, he lost one of the anchors of his life,” Sherwood said. Effi Barry died of leukemia that year.

D.C. Mayor Marion Barry with his wife Effi and son Christopher in 1982.
D.C. Mayor Marion Barry with his wife Effi and son Christopher in 1982.

Barry’s father, who died in 2014, was a powerful and controversial figure in D.C. politics, dubbed “mayor for life” for his long grip on that office.

After holding office for 12 years, the elder Barry was famously arrested in an FBI sting operation in 1990 for using crack cocaine  ― only to bounce back four years later to secure his fourth term as mayor. 

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect that Marion Barry was dubbed “mayor for life” prior to his fourth term in office.

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