obama marion barry helped advance the cause of civil rights for all

Sunday, President Obama said something about the death of Marion Barry, who was mayor of the District of Columbia four times.

Obama praised Barry for his civil rights work and decades of service to Washington, D.C., and he said that he knew his public life had been “at times tumultuous.”

Michelle and I were sad to hear that Marion Barry had died. Marion’s father was a sharecropper, and he grew up during the Civil Rights movement. He spent decades working in D.C. politics. Marion was a leader in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, which worked to improve civil rights for everyone. During the many years he was in office in Washington, D.C., he set up historic programmes to help working people get out of poverty, give them more chances, and start to make the promise of home rule come true. Marion earned the love and respect of many Washingtonians over the course of a long and, at times, difficult life and career. Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to Marion’s family, friends, and constituents today.

Barry died early Sunday morning. He was 78 years old. His family did not say what killed him.

He became mayor for the first time in 1979 and stayed in office for three terms. Barry was arrested on drug charges in 1990 as part of a secret FBI investigation. After he was arrested, he decided not to run for office again. He ended up spending six months in jail after he quit his job. Barry was voted mayor again in 1994, and he stayed in office until 1999. He was also on the D.C. city council for three terms and was the representative for Ward 8 when he died.

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