Photo credits: William E. Sauro/The New York Times
New York City lost a political giant as its first Black mayor, David Dinkins (pictured), has died, the New York Times reports.
Dinkins, 93, died at his home on Monday night (November 23) in the Upper East Side in the city where he served as its 106th mayor for one term (1990 to 1993). A home health aide discovered that Dinkins was not breathing and called 911, sources told the New York Post.
Dinkins’s death comes just over a month after his wife, Joyce Dinkins, died at their home. She was 89 years of age.
New York City elected Dinkins, a Democrat, who unseated three-term Mayor Ed Koch, over Republican candidate Rudy Giuliani. Dinkins inherited a city with huge deficits and high levels of crime. However, he was credited for improving housing in Brooklyn, Harlem, and the Bronx.
Still, his mayoral career was marred by what many saw as an inability to grapple with rising racial tension. This was a problem in the city following the 1991 Crown Heights riots, which were sparked by acts of violence between Black and Jewish residents in the Brooklyn neighborhood.
Years after his tenure as the Big Apple’s leader, Dinkins became an elder statesman who was beloved by New Yorkers and his fellow politicians. He also consulted for former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other former mayors.
He even provided counsel for those who sought to occupy the office.
“I extend my deepest condolences to the family of Mayor David Dinkins, and to the many New Yorkers who loved and supported him,” Giuliani wrote on Twitter.
“He gave a great deal of his life in service to our great City. That service is respected and honored by all,” he continued.
Dinkins was a graduate of Howard University and Brooklyn Law School and was a member of the historically Black fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
He leaves behind two children to mourn his death.
Reference: Graynor, G. (2020, November 24) David Dinkins, NYC’s first Black mayor, is dead at 93. Retrieved from https://thegrio.com/2020/11/24/david-dinkins-nyc-first-black-mayor-dead/
*BlackThen.com writer and historian Victor Trammell edited and contributed to this report.