Marion Barry served two separate terms as Mayor of Washington, the first between 1978 and 1990, and the second from 1994 to 1998.
Barry first became involved in District politics when he moved to Washington in 1965 to open a local chapter of SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee). At the time, Barry was already well known as a civil rights leader, and had served as SNCC president for several years.
In 1971, Barry was voted onto the city's first elected School Board, and in 1974, he became a member of Washington's first elected city council. While serving on the council, Barry chaired the Committee on Finance and Revenue.
Barry ran for Mayor in 1978, and overcame two strong primary opponents to win the election. As Mayor, Barry became a strong advocate for DC rights, urging an expansion of the city's taxing powers and voting rights. In 1990, Barry was convicted of a drug misdemeanor, and did not run again for office. After a six-month jail sentence, Barry began a political comeback, winning a seat on the DC city council as Ward 8's Representative in 1992 — and then won a spirited contest in 1994 to become the city's mayor once again. In his final term, Barry was often criticized for the city's financial difficulties, and he decided against running for reelection. Anthony Williams replaced Barry in 1998.
Barry earned his undergraduate degree at LeMoyne College, a Master's from Fisk University, and studied chemistry in the doctoral program at the University of Tennessee. Barry lives with his wife, Cora Masters Barry, and his son Christopher Barry.