According to the Washington PostMarion Christopher Barry, son of the late D.C. mayor Marion Barry and former candidate for the Ward 8 council seat, has died. He was 36.

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Reports indicate the younger Barry died of an apparent drug overdose, after his girlfriend found him and was rushed to George Washington University Hospital.

Barry has struggled with substance abuse for years. He ran unsuccessfully for the Ward 8 council seat in 2015 after his father died. Barry had several run-ins with the law in the past, including charges related to an alleged outburst at a Chinatown bank branch.


Cora Masters Barry, widow of Marion Barry, said she was not prepared to talk about the younger Barry’s death. In a statement she released to the press, however, she said, she was devastated by Barry’s death. “My heart is broken,” she said. “I am in shock. The news of his death is beyond comprehension.”

Barry was survived by his grandmother Polly Lee Harris.


“Christopher Barry’s untimely passing is a sad ending to the Marion Barry legacy,” he said in a statement. “Christopher never asked for the burden that comes with being part of a famous politician’s family. We know he cared deeply about our city – his hometown from birth to death. And that his parents cared deeply for him. My condolences to those whom he is survived.”

May said in an interview that “My relationship with Christopher extended before and beyond us being on the ballot.”

“One of the things I appreciated about him was his commitment to the people in our community,” May said friend Phil Mendelson. “ As a small business owner Christopher continued the legacy of his father by many times offering job opportunities to people.”

Fairley McCaskill, Barry’s best friend, said his death was especially tragic because he was working to turn his troubled image around.

“Chris is someone I grew up with and now he’s gone. This is surreal. Those who really knew Chris, knew that he marched to his own beat and we loved that about him. He had a big heart,” she said. “I think a lot of times he was misunderstood based on how he was portrayed in the media, which our goal was to shift that image and portrayal during his campaign run, and help people to get to know him the way we knew him. He was a one-of-kind type of guy and he will be missed tremendously.”