David Dinkins, New York’s first black mayor, died at the age of 93

The class was called from Dinkins ’residence by an unconscious person who was having difficulty breathing according to the NYPD.

Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed Dinkins ’death to The New York Times. CNN contacted the mayor’s office to comment on Dinkins ’passing.

Dinkins often spoke of what he called the “beautiful mosaic” of New York’s racial, ethnic, and religious diversity. Dinkins supported economic equality and the education of colorful people, and offered the city a reassuring alternative to the cheeky leadership of Ed Koch, whose tenure was often marked by tense racial conditions.

But several episodes of high crime, a nationwide recession, and racial conflict largely determined Dinkins ’mayoralism in the early 1990s. Although the New York Police Department took place under his leadership on a major expansion that played a significant role in curbing crime, his political nemesis, Rudy Giuliani, was ousted in 1993 in close competition. he successfully painted Dinkins as an ineffective leader who could not tame the city’s crime.
Dinkins was a true pioneer in the history of New York City. As a member of the “Gang of Four,” a member of an informal group, longtime U.S. MP Charles Rangel, civil rights lawyer Percy Sutton, and Basil Paterson, New York’s first black secretary of state, were part of a new wave. his black leadership came to the fore in the 1960s and ’70s, significantly increasing Harlem’s political influence in the city. When Dinkins rejected Koch’s candidacy for a fourth term in the 1989 democratic pre-election and turned Giulian to a narrow circle in the general election, he became the city’s 106th mayor and first color.
Aware of the delicate political balance required to govern the largely white city as black mayor, soft-spoken Dinkins, wearing a bow tie, repeatedly vowed to heal a racial divide that worsened toward the end of Koch’s term while emphasizing commitment to all of his New York ministry.
“I will be the mayor of the people of New York. This administration will never lead to division by opposing some of us or favoring others,” the City said in a speech. Hall shortly after taking office.
In his office, Dinkins offered affordable housing to combat homelessness, called for action to address the HIV / AIDS crisis, and took several steps to tackle the city’s high crime, which peaked in 1990 when the city registered more than 2,200 homicides that year. .
In particular, Dinkins called for a significant expansion of the NYPD called the “Safe Streets, Safe City” program, and by the time he left office, the city’s crime rate had already begun to decline, a trend that lasted for nearly three decades. .
Also noteworthy was Dinkins, a huge tennis fan, the move to sign a 99-year lease with the U.S. Tennis Association, which brought the U.S. Open to the city to boost the economy. This move was later welcomed by one of his successors. Michael Bloomberg as “the only good athletics sports stadium deal, not just in New York, but in the country.” Dinkins continued the efforts initiated by the Koch government to clean up Times Square by attracting new businesses to the area that symbolized a run-down city in the early 1990s that is widely seen as drug users, homeless, and porn theaters.
But a number of racial conflicts have largely undermined Dinkins ’message that he is uniquely able to bridge divisions in the city and seize the concept of crime. The most infamous were the riots in Crown Heights in Brooklyn in August 1991, which were triggered after a car driven by a Hasidic Jew jumped on a sidewalk and hit a young black boy. Hours later, a group of black men killed a Jewish student. Eventually, the riots lasted for three days, with members of the black and Hasidic population in the neighborhood physically facing each other. Dinkins was criticized for reacting too slowly, and when he visited the area during the riots, they blew it out and threw bottles at it.
Dinkins would refer to the episode as the harshest period of his bourgeoisie and demanded success in neutralizing other racially sensitive moments during his tenure, including a dispute between black and Korean business owners living in Brooklyn and maintaining peace in the city despite national unrest. followed the acquittal of police officers accused of beating Rodney King in 1992.
But his critics, namely Giuliani, who was the best-known former federal prosecutor at the time, cited Crown Heights ’unrest and crime to humiliate Dinkins, and Giuliani goes so far as to call the riot a“ pogrom ”. organized anti-Semitic violence in Eastern Europe. A year later, thousands of out-of-service New York police officers protested against Dinkins in front of City Hall after proposing the creation of an independent civilian agency to investigate police. Some used racist language to describe the mayor. Giuliani was present, though he denied Dinkins’ accusations that he had encouraged them.

In 1993, Dinkins barely lost against Giuliani, who became the city’s first Republican mayor in 20 years. In his 2013 memoir, “The Mayor’s Life: Controlling the Beautiful Mosaic in New York,” Dinkins said racism is a key factor in his re-election loss.

“When asked why I lost, I said,‘ Why do you think so? “I didn’t want to say it out loud, but it’s time. Now I say, ‘Simple and easy racism,'” Dinkins wrote.

Dinkins also complained that Giuliani deserved credit for the reduction in crime, which he said began in his class.

“Obviously they don’t want to acknowledge that the number of police officers has changed,” he told The New York Times in 1996. “Instead, they continue to behave as if civilization had begun on January 1, 1994.”
Born on July 10, 1927 in Trenton, New Jersey, Dinkins joined the U.S. Marine Corps as one of the Montford Point Marines, the first Black American to serve at the branch after graduating from high school, and later the Montford Point Marines who served in 2012. they received the Congressional Gold Medal for their service. He continued his studies at Howard University, where he graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1950. Dinkins earned his law degree in 1956 from Brooklyn Law School and worked as a lawyer before entering politics.

He became a member of the New York State Assembly in 1966, and from 1972 to 1973 he was chairman of the New York Electoral Board. Beginning his political career as a member of parliament, Dinkins was elected president of the Manhattan neighborhood in 1985 before being appointed. four years later the mayor’s office.

After leaving the mayor’s office in 1994, Dinkins became a public policy professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He was also a board member of several organizations, including the U.S. Tennis Association and the Children’s Health Fund, and was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., the first sister community in black Greek. The United States.
His wife, Joyce Dinkins, was the first lady in New York to die on October 89. Dinkins survived with two children and two grandchildren.

CNN’s Joe Sutton and Hollie Silverman contributed to the report.