Former Crack-Smoking D.C. Mayor to Have Statue Erected on Pennsylvania Avenue

Getty Images
March 2, 2018

Former Washington, D.C. mayor and city council member Marion Barry will have a statue erected in his memory on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Barry, a Democrat, served four terms as mayor of DC from 1979 to 1991 and again from 1995 to 1999. He served several terms as a member of the D.C. City Council and did so until his death in 2014.

Barry rose to national attention after the FBI filmed him in 1990 smoking crack cocaine with a former girlfriend, as part of a sting operation. His defense after being arrested was, "Bitch set me up."

After his release from prison in 1992, he ran again in 1994 and won in what was considered an impressive political comeback, the Associated Press reports.

Additionally, Barry was accused of being engaged in corruption and had other legal troubles. He got into trouble other times when he made racist statements against Asians. Barry was also upset that many black citizens were not able to afford to continue living in D.C.

The eight-foot-tall statue will be unveiled and placed just blocks from the White House by the Washington City Council building this weekend.

Several current members of the city council, which has two liberal Independents and the rest Democrats, had praise for Barry, who was once labeled "mayor for life."