By Jesse Sarles

NORTHGLENN, Colo. (CBS4) – Odell Barry, a former professional football player who became the first African American mayor of Northglenn, passed away over the weekend. He was 80.

Current Northglenn Mayor Meredith Leighty announced on Tuesday that Barry died on Sunday. She called him “a dedicated mayor and civil servant.”

Odell Barry in 1984

Odell Barry in 1984 (credit: The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Barry played for the Denver Broncos in the American Football League in 1964 and 1965. Following retirement from football, he served as a city council member in Northglenn for 8 years. After that, he became mayor in 1980 and served in the role for 2 years.

“Mayor Barry will be remembered in part for his leadership in establishing a master plan for our city, building a city hall and community center, and supporting an $80 million water project,” Leighty wrote in a Facebook post. “I thank our former mayor for his deep commitment to our community and for having the courage to break down barriers. To honor his legacy, The City of Northglenn will continue to focus on the deeply rooted values of diversity, equality and inclusivity.”

Jesse Sarles