Marion Barry, the former mayor of Washington and current city councilman, has died, multiple reports said. He was 78.
Barry spokesperson LaToya Foster told the Associated Press he died shortly after midnight Sunday at a hospital in Washington. No cause of death was announced.
Barry's political career was overshadowed by a 1990 arrest, which involved a police surveillance tape showing him smoking crack in a hotel room. He was sentenced to six months in prison for possession, according to CNN.
Despite his conviction, he remained popular, in particular with lower-income African American voters, and served another term as the District of Colombia mayor from 1995 to 1999.
The Washington Post's obituary for Barry described him as “the most influential and savvy local politician of his generation. ... He dominated the city’s political landscape in the final quarter of the 20th century.”
Barry was actively involved in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, and was the the first national chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, which sent young people into the South to register black voters and became known as one of the most militant civil rights groups of that era, according to his Associated Press' obituary.
Barry had been hospitalized, and subsequently released earlier this week. He received a kidney transplant five years ago and is also a diabetic according to a report from NBC News. He had complained of a urinary tract infection, a common problem for kidney transplant recipients, the network reported.
He is survived by his wife, Cora Masters Barry, and his only child, Marion Christopher Barry, according to a statement cited by the New York Times.