Marion Barry, the storied four-term mayor and current Washington, D.C., Council member, died early Sunday, just hours after a brief stay at Howard University Hospital, the Washington Post reports, citing a family statement. He was 78.
The family did not release the cause of death, but Barry had suffered from many health problems over the years, including prostate cancer and diabetes, the Post writes. He also underwent a kidney transplant.
D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray said in a statement that he would work with Barry's family and the D.C. Council to plan ceremonies worthy of a "true statesman of the District of Columbia," the report says.
In an interview this summer with The Root's Stephen Crockett after the release of his 2014 book, Mayor for Life: The Incredible Story of Marion Barry Jr., Barry discussed his fall into cocaine abuse and what drugs cost him, plus the legacy he wishes he had.
"Hundreds of interviews, hundreds of stories, hundreds of photographs, have been done about Marion Barry," he told The Root at the time. "They all deal with the 'what' of Marion Barry, but none of those articles deal with the 'who' Marion Barry really is. So I decided to put it down in my own words, the 'who.' That I was born poor and black in the Delta of Mississippi to parents who were sharecroppers who made three to four thousand dollars a year before my mother said, 'I'm tired of that.' "
Read more at the Washington Post.