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marion barry

Ex-Washington DC Mayor Marion Barry, who won re-election after a drug arrest, has died at the age of 78.

Democrat Marion Barry served three terms from 1979 to 1991 before his personal life overshadowed his politics.

He was arrested in an FBI sting operation and tried on drug charges in 1990, but was only convicted on a single count of possession.

Marion Barry remained popular with many poorer African American voters, and served a final term as mayor from 1995 to 1999.

He died overnight at a hospital in Washington, DC Council spokeswoman LaToya Foster said,

Marion Barry had kidney problems stemming from diabetes and high blood pressure.

His 1990 arrest – which came during his third term – came after he was videotaped by the FBI smoking crack in a Washington hotel room with a female friend.

During the subsequent trial jurors remained deadlocked on most counts.

Marion Barry’s conviction for drug possession led to a six-month prison sentence.