History #101

History #101

Hollywood On Productions: Janet Donovan & Brendan Kownacki

The history of DC politics was served up on a platter at LOOK Supper Club on K Street on Friday night, hosted by proprietor Michael Kosmides and Hollywood on the Potomac in honor of the publication “Mayor for Life” by Marion Barry, Jr.

Twenty journalists were invited to a private ‘on the record’ dinner preceded by a stroll through the restaurant where onlookers did a double take………..lots of ‘hey, isn’t that’ …………

Mayor for Life

The title of the book was a moniker adopted by Washington City Paper in the late 1980’s by their “Loose Lips” columnist and it stuck.  WCP was in attendance, but didn’t ask for any royalties as far as we know.

The autobiography takes you through his early childhood in the cotton fields of Mississippi, his devotion to the civil rights movement, his years as a four term Mayor of Washington, DC. and his life now as a DC Council Member. It covers, as he says, “the good, the bad, and the ugly.”

“Don’t judge me by one night, judge me by hundreds of nights, hundreds of days, hundreds of years, 31 years in DC of public service,” he told Newschannel 8‘s reporter Kristen Holmes who reported from the dinner.


“In Mayor for Life, Marion Barry, Jr. tells all—including the story of his campaigns for mayor of Washington, his ultimate rise to power, his personal struggles and downfalls, and the night of embarrassment, followed by his term in federal prison and ultimately a victorious fourth term as mayor. From the man who, despite the setbacks, boldly served the community of Washington, DC, this is his full story of courage, empowerment, hope, tragedy, triumph, and inspiration.” Strebor Books


Photo credit: Neshan H. Naltchayan

Photographer Neshan Naltchayan remembered Barry’s career well.  His father Harry Naltchayan was THE photographer in town with The Washington Post for 35 years.

“As you know, being in the news business my dad would always come across paraphernalia from all his news assignments,” said Naltchayan.  “He brought this campaign poster home after covering one the the Mayor’s election events and we had it in between some of my dad’s photos in his many files at home. When I heard that the Mayor would be signing his book tonight, I brought the 1978 campaign poster with me for his signature. The Mayor told me that he doesn’t know if there are any of these posters out there still.”


Long time Barry press secretary Raymone Bain shown here with “Mayor for Life”


Brendan Kownacki: One on One with Marion Barry, Jr.