January 21, 1978: Marion Barry announces his running in the D.C. mayoral election. (James M. Thresher/The Washington Post)

Barry, now 76, is a Mississippi native, an Eagle Scout and a masters-degree holding chemistry student who ducked out of a doctorate to protest racial discrimination when personally faced with it.

But Barry’s career championing civil rights took a backseat when a school board spot, a D.C. Council seat and the mayorship itself came into view. After the jump, view a timeline of Barry’s complex history, beginning with his birth in Leflore County, Miss. and ending (for now), with his latest D.C. Council primary win.

January 1, 1995: Mayor-elect Marion Barry takes to the dance floor during his Inauguration Salute to Seniors and leads them in the "Barry Slide."  (Keith Jenkins (The Washington Post))

• April 5: Editorial Board: “Marion Barry’s racist remarks

• April 5: D.C.’s Marion Barry widely rebuked for comments about Asian business owners

• April 4: Marion Barry’s celebratory tweet embraces racial epithet

• April 4: Marion Barry wins primary: ‘Twitter got a little wild last night.’

• From the archive: Photos of Marion Barry from 1971 to 1995.

Tip: Use the toggle bar on the left of the timeline to zoom out, or view the complete timeline as a list.