Former Arkansas Rep. Marion Berry dies at 80

 May 22, 2023

Former Arkansas Democratic Rep. Marion Berry has died at the age of 80.

He passed away Friday according to his family, with no cause of death noted.

The announcement

“With his signature quick wit and way with words, he lived his life in service to others,” said Berry’s son, Mitch.

“He truly believed that the role of government was to help people, and it was a charge he took very seriously. He was generous with his time and talents as his dozens of mentees can attest," he added.

His career

"Berry was first elected to Congress in 1996 but decided against reelection in 2010 for health reasons. He underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor in July 2011," the Independent reported.

"A licensed pharmacist and farmer, Berry was elected to represent the 1st District in eastern Arkansas after serving in President Bill Clinton’s administration as a special assistant for agricultural trade and food assistance. He quickly focused on issues most likely to impact his notably poor district, including agriculture," it continued.

“His straight talk and sense of humor attracted attention on the national stage but those who knew him recognized that delivering results for his constituents was Congressman Berry’s highest priority, always,” said state Democratic Party Chair Grant Tennille.

“He was a great Democrat and an even better public servant," he added.

Connection to the Clintons

In addition to serving in the House, Berry served in former President Bill Clinton's administration in Washington, D.C., as well as serving in the capital on the White House Domestic Policy Council.

Clinton also noted him as a person whose support he treasured, with straightforward advice and a strong sense of humor.

Berry's seven terms in Congress and other services on behalf of the people of his state of Arkansas showed his longtime action for his citizens and lifelong commitment to public service. He leaves behind a lengthy career of both impact and memories to friends, family and loved ones.

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