In 1989 Dinkins was elected New York City’s first, and so far only, African-American mayor, beating out Rudy Giuliani.
Dinkins will forever be known as a tireless and fearless leader who fought for the rights of others and who cherished the city for which he governed.
Dinkins’ single term as mayor – from 1990 to 1994 – was marred by high crime, a national recession, and continued racial tension throughout the city. He goes largely un-credited for many of the reforms that let to the city’s resurgence after his term was over, including a drive to increase the number of cops on patrol in neighborhoods plagued by crime.
New York governor Andrew Cuomo, paid tribute to Dinkins in a tweet following the announcement of Dinkins’ passing:
“The first and the only Black mayor of NYC, he cherished our “gorgeous mosaic” & served the city & state over a career spanning decades with the hope of unity and a deep kindness,” he wrote. “My friend, you will be missed.”
With the passing of Mayor Dinkins, NY lost a remarkable civic leader. The first and the only Black mayor of NYC, he cherished our “gorgeous mosaic” & served the city & state over a career spanning decades with the hope of unity and a deep kindness.
My friend, you will be missed. pic.twitter.com/8xybkMcvPm
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) November 24, 2020
Political allies like former Representative Charles Rangel spoke about how Dinkins’ love for Year York influenced his politics.
Dinkins’ death comes a month after the passing of his wife, Joyce Dinkins in October. The two were married for 67 years.
Dinkins is survived by his son, David Jr., daughter Donna, and two grandchildren.