Marion Christopher Barry campaigning in 2015
Marion Christopher Barry campaigning in 2015 Credit: Darrow Montgomery

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Marion Christopher Barry, a 36-year-old former Ward 8 D.C. Council candidate and the only child of Marion Barry, died early this morning, reportedly of a drug overdose.

Barry ran unsuccessfully in April 2015 to fill his father’s Ward 8 Council seat after the elder Barry’s death, a run compromised in part by an outburst at a bank teller. Like his father, Barry had a long, public battle with drug abuse, including several arrests. In an interview with City Paper last year, Barry discussed his struggle.  

“Everything in my life was just chaos, and you put something in your body that makes chaos seem normal,” Barry said.

In a statement, Barry stepmother Cora Masters Barry described his death as “beyond comprehension.”

Barry struggled to come to terms both with his famous father’s legacy and the 2007 death of mother Effi Barry, according to friends.  

“Christopher Barry’s untimely passing is a sad ending to the Marion Barry legacy,” Council chairman Phil Mendelson said in a statement. “Christopher never asked for the burden that comes with being part of a famous politician’s family.”