WASHINGTON (AP) — Marion Barry will be remembered with three days of events befitting a man described by the District of Columbia's current mayor as the "most iconic figure" in the city's history, officials said Wednesday.
Barry, who served four terms as mayor and another 16 years on the D.C. Council, died Sunday morning at age 78.
His memorial service was set for Dec. 6 at the Washington Convention Center and is scheduled to last four hours, preceded by a three-hour public viewing.
Before that, Barry's body will lie in repose in a closed casket at the District government building for 24 hours starting on the morning of Dec. 4. The casket will then be driven around the city in a lengthy processional ending at a church near his home in southeast Washington. The church will host a community memorial service that evening.
"It's a celebration of the life of one of the most iconic figures that we've ever seen in this nation," said Mayor Vincent Gray, a longtime friend and political ally of Barry. "I don't have any reservations about saying he was the most iconic figure in the history of the District of Columbia."
Known as "Mayor for Life," Barry was beloved by many Washingtonians for expanding economic opportunity for the city's African-American majority, and his administration helped spur the revival of the city's downtown. He also battled personal demons while in office, culminating with a 1990 drug arrest and subsequent misdemeanor conviction.
Follow Ben Nuckols on Twitter at https://twitter.com/APBenNuckols.