Bruce Barry: Everything to Know about Nashville Mayor Megan Barry’s Husband

In February 2018, Megan Barry admitted to having an extramarital affair with the head of her security detail. At that time, Megan Barry and Bruce Barry, her husband, said they didn’t plan on separating. Despite her husband expressing his support, Megan Barry resigned from the mayor’s post on Tuesday (March 6).

Megan Barry made history as the first woman to be sworn in as the Mayor of Nashville, Tennessee. But her history-making tenure came to an end when she resigned from office on Tuesday. In February, she admitted to cheating on her husband of over two decades, Bruce Barry.

However, she declared that she had no plans to resign, nor did she and her husband intend to divorce. Though the First Family of Nashville are still going strong, Megan Barry stepped down from office and admitted to stealing money from the city. How did Bruce Barry respond to this? Find out here.

He’s a Professor

Bruce Barry is an accomplished academician working as a professor of management at the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University. He was appointed in the Department of Sociology as well as affiliated faculty at Vanderbilt’s Curb Center for Art, Enterprise & Public Policy and the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions.

The New York native attended the University of Virginia where he earned his B.A. in foreign affairs and speech communication, as well as a masters from the Department of Speech Communication. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina in 1991.

His website profile states his expertise lies in “(1) social issues in management, including ethics, workplace rights, and public policy; and (2) the psychology of interpersonal and group behavior in organizations, including power, influence, negotiation, conflict and justice.”

The 59-year-old took his expertise to various universities where he taught, including some in Australia.

He’s also an accomplished author who was not only published in scholarly journals, but also contributes to the weekly newspaper, Nashville Scene.

His Stepdad Was in the Fur Business

In a rare profile interview, Barry mentioned that he was five years old when his parents divorced. His mother soon remarried and he grew up with his stepfather.

His stepfather was a furrier in New York’s garment district. His father’s business taught young Barry some important life lessons.

Calling his stepdad’s occupation “uncomfortably odd,” he said, “The whole business is taking dead animals, making them into coats and selling them to rich people as signs of opulence.”

Nevertheless, he said the job taught him about the world’s “moral complexity.” “I actually disdained the industry on moral grounds but at the same time, that industry put food on the table and got me into college.”

He Aspired to Be a Doctor

When he was a young boy in Long Island, he dreamed of becoming a doctor. He was so passionate about it that he even did medical research while in high school.

It wasn’t a phase. He enrolled in the University of Virginia fully intent on working in the medical field.

However, the pre-med track was restrictive back then. Barry had a wide variety of interests including certain political and international study courses. But he wasn’t allowed to opt for them.

So he decided to take organic chemistry pass/fail in his sophomore year.

He recalled the day he got the change form to class and his professor said, “You realize if I sign this, no medical school in the country will look at you.” Barry answered, “That’s exactly the point.”

Nevertheless, he went on to become a doctor, just not in the medical field. He did a double major in foreign affairs and speech communication and earned his Ph.D.

On a trip to the Middle East with his fellow grad students, he even managed to upset former PLO leader, Yasser Arafat.

They Lost Their Son

Bruce and Megan had a son, Max Barry who was studying at Washington State. He returned to Nashville to attend his mom’s inauguration in 2015.

Barry said about his son at that time, “I can’t imagine that it hasn’t been incredibly eye-opening for him in understand who his mother is and what a remarkable person she is. [sic]”

In 2017, the couple were devastated by the loss of their son. According to a press release by the mayor’s office, 22-year-old Max passed away from an apparent drug overdose. He reportedly died from a mix of drugs containing opioids.

During her term as mayor, she was a vocal champion in the country’s opioid crisis and campaigned for reforms.

Megan Barry

Megan Barry wife of Bruce Barry (Photo: Getty Images/Rick Diamond/Staff)

Bruce Barry’s Response to Her Resignation

Bruce and Megan Barry have been together for almost 25 years. He has been supportive of her political career every step of the way. He even followed her on her campaign trail. When she was elected, he chose to keep a low public profile and let her shine.

After she admitted to cheating on him, Barry chose not to comment. He continued to maintain a low profile while still appearing to be by his wife’s side.

An active Twitter user, he tweeted polls of Megan’s 61% approval rating that was unshaken in the wake of her affair scandal.

Despite the support of her husband and a decent approval rating, Megan Barry resigned from office on Tuesday. She admitted to felony theft following her resignation.

After her resignation, Bruce Barry finally broke his silence. He responded with a short statement saying, “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can never live long enough to make them all yourself.” The line is a quote from Groucho Marx.


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