Here’s everyone Marion Barry thanks in his new book


Marion Barry looking beachy back in September 2004. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

There’s no index in “Mayor for Life: The incredible Story of Marion Barry, Jr.” But there is another way for prominent D.C. personages to measure their proximity to the most important man in 50 years of D.C. political history: the acknowledgements section.

Barry offers three-and-a-quarter pages of thank-yous, in addition to the dedication to his 34-year-old son Christopher, whom he calls “the hallmark of my life.” Here’s every person thanked by Barry, in order of thankage:

God, “for without his grace and mercy, none of this would have been possible.”

• His mother, Mattie Cummings, who died in 2009 at 92: “My mother was the first person who taught me courage.”

• His third wife, Effi Slaughter Barry, who died in 2007 at 63: “When you entered my life, it changed forever. And when God called you home, it changed my life forever. You were a heaven-sent angel.”

Accountant and “dear friend” Greg Holloway, “for introducing me to my publisher, Zane …”;

Zane, aka Kristina Laferne Roberts, the romance author and businesswoman whose Strebor Books published Barry’s memoir: “Because of you, generations will learn the real story of Marion Barry Jr.”

Charmaine Roberts Parker, Zane’s sister and publishing director of Strebor Books: “You had your work cut out for you, and you rose to the occasion.”

• Co-author Omar Tyree, prolific Charlotte-based author of “urban fiction”: “It was a labor of love, and we knocked the ball out of the park. And for the record, I’m not doing a second or third book, buddy! LOL!!”

• Spokeswoman LaToya Foster: “I don’t think Omar or I could have finished this book without her. In fact, I know we couldn’t have. LaToya was inseparable from the process, and she showed great patience, reserve, tolerance and professionalism to deal with both of us.”

• Fourth wife Cora Masters Barry: “What would I have done without you?! You’ve been a supportive friend during the mountain highs and valley lows of my life.”

• Lawyers Fred Cooke and David Wilmot, “the legal dynamic duo”;

• “Special companion” Sandy Bellamy: “You’ve been an amazing asset in my life. I love you dearly.”

• Council staffers Joyce Clements-Smith, Mary Thompson, Chan Tei Durant, Charles Lindsay and Danielle Greenfield: “[T]hank you so much for all your hard work”

• His cabinet, all four terms worth en masse: “We worked hard, and look at what we accomplished.”

Kiddney donor Kim Dickens: “You sacrificed a kidney so I could have life. I can’t even find a word that describes how eternally grateful I am to you!”

• Personal lawyer Herbert O. Reid, who died in 1991, and personal doctor Robert Williams;

• Political aide Ivanhoe Donaldson, who later went to federal prison for taking kickbacks: “Together, we made a spectacular difference.”

• His four city administrators: Elijah Rogers, Tom Downs, Carol Thompson and Michael Rogers;

• Chiefs of staff Maudine Cooper, who served “during one of the most difficult moments of my life,” and Barry Campbell, who died in 2002;

• The Rev. Jesse Jackson, a “good friend” worthy of “very special thanks” — of whom Barry once famously said, “Jesse don’t wanna run nothing but his mouth”;

• His pastors, the Rev. Willie Wilson of Union Temple Baptist Church, and Bishop Glen Staples of Temple of Praise;

• Pastor and former school board president David Eaton, “one of the early visionaries of my political career”;

• The late Carlise Davenport, the founder of Tots Developmental Center on Shepherd Street NW, where Christopher Barry attended school as a youngster: “Thank you for the wonderful care that you gave to Christopher, and your friendship to the Barry family.”

• Longtime publicist Raymone Bain, for her “invaluable expertise”;

• Boxing promoter and radio host Rock Newman, for “many years of friendship”;

Cathy Hughes, former WOL-AM host now CEO of Radio One Inc.: “Thank you for giving me a voice on your airwaves during one of the most challenging moments in my life.”

• “Special thanks to Mayor Vincent Gray, the Council of the District of Columbia, and all of the extraordinary political minds that I’ve worked with over the years.”

• And, finally, “a very special thanks to all the many people who supported me over the years. … I council have NEVER done this alone. I can never thank you enough. I love you all!!!!!”

Didn’t make the cut? Rest assured, Barry is sorry about that: “Unfortunately, I’m not afforded the time, nor space, to thank you all, but just know that you will always be embedded in my heart, and that’s that matters most.”

Mike DeBonis covers local politics and government for The Washington Post. He also writes a blog and a political analysis column that runs on Fridays.
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