Gary is a city in McDowell County, West Virginia, USA. In 2000 the population was recorded as 917. Gary is one of the four cities in McDowell County which includes Welch, Keystone, and War. Gary was home to the coal diggers before Gary High School and Gary Elementary School closed. Gary was once a booming coal mining company town run by the United States Steel Corporation. Gary was incorporated on July 1, 1971, by popular vote of residents in an election held on March 16, 1970. Incorporation includes five communities: Elbert, Filbert, Gary, Thorpe, and Wilcoe. The town was named in honor of Judge Elbert Gary, one-time president of U.S. Steel Corporation. U.S. Steel shut down its Gary Operations in 1986. The principal industry is coal mining, but poverty and unemployment have plagued the area since the closing of U.S. Steel.