News of the death of former D.C. mayor Marion Barry was not confirmed until early Sunday morning. Much of the Washington community, both officials and members of the public, were asleep when the family issued its statement announcing his death.
However, a statement was released early Sunday on behalf of Mayor Vincent Gray and Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser also released a statement.
The statement issued on the mayor’s behalf said he “expressed deep sadness” on learning of the former mayor’s death.
(Timeline: The life of Marion Barry)
It said he had spoken with Barry’s wife, Cora Masters Barry, to voice his condolences, and it said his thoughts and prayers were with Barry’s son Christopher.
“Marion was not just a colleague but also was a friend with whom I shared many fond moments about governing the city,” said Mayor Gray. “He loved the District of Columbia and so many Washingtonians loved him.”
In the statement, the mayor said he would work with Councilmember Barry’s family and the Council to plan official ceremonies worthy of a true statesman of the District of Columbia.
In sending her own condolences, the mayor elect described Barry as someone who “gave a voice to those who need it most.”She said he “lived his life in service to others.”
Describing herself as feeling shocked and deeply saddened, along “with all Washingtonians,” she said Barry had been “a part of my family for decades.”
The mayor-elect said he would “continue to be an example to me and so many others.”