Mary Barry was born in Seward, Alaska in 1928. Her father worked for the Alaska Railroad and later ran the town's main building supply business. Mary attended college at UCLA in Los Angeles, California, and married her husband, Mel, in 1951. They had two children, and have lived in Anchorage for many years. Mary has become well-known as an author of Alaska history. Some of her publications include: Seward, Alaska: A History of the Gateway City, Pts. 1-3 (M.J.P. Barry, Anchorage, AK, 1986, 1993, 1995); A History of Mining on the Kenai Peninsula (Alaska Northwest Publishing Company, Anchorage, AK, 1973); and Alaska's Ghosts, Enigmas, Outlaws, and Things That Go Bump!: Folklore of the Last Frontier (M.J.P. Barry, Anchorage, AK, 1994).