Son of Former DC Mayor Marion Barry Dies From Drug Overdose: Family - NBC Chicago
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Son of Former DC Mayor Marion Barry Dies From Drug Overdose: Family

Barry's father, Marion Barry, was mayor of Washington, D.C., from 1979 to 1991 and 1995 to 1999



    Christopher Barry Dies at Age 36

    Christopher Barry, the son of the late D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, died Sunday. News4's Derrick Ward reports. (Published Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016)

    Marion Christopher Barry, son of the late D.C. mayor, has died after a drug overdose, family members told News4's Tom Sherwood.

    Sherwood first reported the story on Twitter just before 6 a.m. Sunday. He said Barry had struggled with drug use and ran unsuccessfully for the Ward 8 Council seat in 2015 after his father, former Mayor Marion Barry, died.

    Christopher Barry, 36, was the son of Marion and Effi Barry.

    According to a police report, the person who reported Christopher Barry's death said Barry went outside about 12:10 a.m. Sunday to smoke K-2 and PCP. When he returned, Barry was "'acting crazy/different' and then he suddenly 'dropped.'"

    Barry was found unconscious and unrepsonsive. He was taken to George Washington University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a couple hours later, the report said.

    Cora Masters Barry, wife of the former mayor, issued a statement on Sunday.

    "Christopher's sudden death has been devastating news to me. My heart is broken. I am in shock. The news of his death is beyond comprehension.

    "I would like to thank everyone for their concern and support. I would also like to send my condolences to Mrs. Polly Lee Harris, Christopher's grandmother, for the loss of her only grandchild.

    "Please understand that I will not be making any further statements at this time."

    Community leaders and friends of Barry gathered to remember him Sunday night in Southeast.

    Some said despite Barry's personal struggles, he was always fighting for his community.

    "Through him I saw strength, I saw vulnerability. I saw the type of heart that creates a community," one man said at the vigil.

    Marion Barry was mayor of Washington, D.C., from 1979 to 1991 and 1995 to 1999. He also served on the Council of the District of Columbia for three terms, one as an at-large member and two serving Ward 8.

    His prominance as mayor and a civil rights leader changed after he was videotaped and arrested by the FBI on crack cocaine charges in 1990.

    The former mayor always hoped his son would follow in his political footsteps, but Sherwood said Christopher Barry never seemed to warm up to the public spotlight like his father. Christopher Barry's bid for a Ward 8 seat, running as Marion C. Barry, fell short in 2015, coming in sixth place.

    Christopher Barry also had his share of problems with the law, starting in 2005 with a misdemeanor assault charge for resisting arrest. He also faced drug-related charges in 2011, 2013 and 2014.

    Effi Barry died of leukemia in 2007. Cora Masters Barry, widow of Marion Barry, confirmed to Sherwood that Christopher Barry died.

    A News4 I-Team investigation found that synthetic drug overdoses, including overdoses on K-2, accounted for 10-times more EMS calls than heart attacks in D.C.