Marion Barry

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Edward Flaherty
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Marion Shepilov Barry, Jr. (born March 6, 1936) served as Democratic mayor of Washington, D.C. from 1979 to 1991. He was forced to leave office during his third term as a result of his arrest and conviction on drug charges, but afterward again elected to the D.C. council and ultimately to the mayoralty, serving a fourth term from 1995 to 1999.


  • Goddamn bitch set me up!
    • Barry said this in front of an FBI camera after agents arrested him for smoking crack in a hotel room with an escort. This phrase (and variants) was emblazoned on novelty tee-shirts at the time.
  • Outside of the killings, DC has one of the lowest crime rates in the country.
    • Source: USA Today: Mar 24, 1989. pg. 02.A
  • They made all this up to justify questioning me. It's all made up. I don't know what happened. Whatever they say was all made up.
    • Responding to allegations by Park Police that he was found with a white substance under his nose and trace amounts of cocaine in his car.
    • Source: The Washington Post: 26 March 2002. pg B2
  • There is a sort of an unwritten code in Washington, among the underworld and the hustlers and these other guys that I am their friend.
    • Explaining why he was upset at being robbed at gunpoint.
    • Source: Washington Express: 4 January 2006. pg 11


Note: Most of the attributed quotes below are unverified.

  • People have criticized me because my security detail is larger than the president's. But you must ask yourself: are there more people who want to kill me than who want to kill the president? I can assure you there are.
  • What right does Congress have to go around making laws just because it deems it necessary?
  • I am a great mayor. I am an upstanding Christian man. I am an intelligent man. I am a deeply educated man. I am a humble man.
  • I am one of those mayors whose management style is to allow free and unlimited debate, to a point.
  • The laws of this city are clearly racist. All laws are racist. The law of gravity is racist.
  • I am Mayor For Life.
  • The brave men who died in Vietnam, more than 100% of which were black, were the ultimate sacrifice.
  • I promise you a police car on every sidewalk.
  • I am clearly more popular than Reagan. I am in my third term. Where's Reagan? Gone after two! Defeated by George Bush and Michael Dukakis no less.
  • I am making this trip to Africa because Washington is an international city, just like Tokyo, Nigeria or Israel. As mayor, I am an international symbol. Can you deny that to Africa?

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