Marion Barry, a four term Mayor of Washington DC who had won re-election after a drug arrest in 1990, bid his final adieu to the world on Sunday morning at the age of 78.
LaToya Foster, DC council spokesperson, said that the leader died shortly after midnight at a Washington hospital.
He was battling from a kidney ailment that had stemmed from diabetes and high blood pressure. He underwent a kidney transplant in February 2009.
Barry, a Democrat, served three terms as Mayor from 1979 to 1990 before his personal life overshadowed his bright political career following his arrest in 1990 when he was caught on camera smoking crack cocaine.
He was arrested on drug charges in a sting operation, conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), but he was convicted only on a single count of possession.
Despite all odds, Barry remained a popular political figure, mostly among the poorer African American voters population. This popularity gained him his final term as mayor from 1995 to 1999.
He started his political career with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, where he was an important member. He also worked as a local activist in Washington.
In 1978, Barry was first elected as Washington DC mayor.
“I want to take the boards off of houses and put people in them. I want to provide minimal care for all people, regardless of their financial situation. And I want to live out (Dr. Martin Luther) King’s legacy of peace, brotherhood and survival,” Barry has said after being sworn-in as the Mayor in 1979.
He was re-elected for the top post from 1982 to 1986, after which he was dubbed “Mayor For Life.”
Barry is survived by his son, Marion Christopher Barry. He has married four times.