posted at 06:51
Author: The Associated Press
Former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry dead at 78
Speaking at a 4 a.m. press conference at United Medical Center, the city's mayor-elect Muriel Bowser called Barry an "Inspiration to so many people, and a fighter for people." "Mr. Barry, I can say this, lived up until the minute the way he wanted to live," said Bowser, who had served with Barry on the D.C. Council. Barry returned to the D.C. Council in 1992, representing the poorest of the city's eight wards. In 1995, with the city flirting with bankruptcy from years of bloated, unaccountable government, much of it under Barry, U.S. Congress stripped him of much of his power and installed a financial control board. Barry's work with the committee brought him to Washington, where he became immersed in local issues, joining boycotts of the bus system, and leading rallies in support of the city's fledgling home rule efforts. Barry's activism propelled him into local politics, first as a member of the Board of Education, and then in 1974 as a member of the first elected city council organized under home rule legislation. Barry's early years in office were marked by improvement in many city services and a dramatic expansion of the government payroll, creating a thriving black middle class in the nation's capital. Gray spoke with Barry's wife, Cora Masters Barry, late Saturday and shared his condolences and sympathies with her.

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