Former Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, focus of an infamous 1990 drug sting operation, the butt of many jokes and the subject of numerous stories on issues plaguing Black America, passed away earlier this morning after a visit to Howard Univeristy Hospital. He was 78.

While Barry was widely known for the video tape that caught him doing crack with a woman in a Washington hotel in 1990, many don't know the true story of the man that grew up in a poor family in the South and how he rose to become a powerful Mayor of our Nation's Capitol.

For more on this story, and his life, visit our friends at The Root.