39 Facts About David Dinkins


David Norman Dinkins was an American politician, lawyer, and author who served as the 106th mayor of New York City from 1990 to 1993.


David Dinkins was the first African American to hold the office.


David Dinkins's parents separated when he was six years old, after which he was raised by his father.


David Dinkins moved to Harlem as a child before returning to Trenton.


David Dinkins attended Trenton Central High School, where he graduated in 1945.


David Dinkins served in the Marine Corps from July 1945 through August 1946, attaining the rank of private first class.


David Dinkins was among the Montford Point Marines who received the Congressional Gold Medal from the United States Senate and House of Representatives.


David Dinkins became part of an influential group of African American politicians that included Denny Farrell, Percy Sutton, Basil Paterson, and Charles Rangel; the latter three together with Dinkins were known as the "Gang of Four".


David Dinkins briefly represented the 78th District of the New York State Assembly in 1966.


David Dinkins was elected Manhattan borough president in 1985 on his third run for that office.


On November 7,1989, David Dinkins was elected mayor of New York City, defeating three-term incumbent mayor Ed Koch and two others in the Democratic primary and Republican nominee Rudy Giuliani in the general election.


Additionally, the fact that David Dinkins was African American helped him to avoid criticism that he was ignoring the Black vote by campaigning to whites.


David Dinkins entered office in January 1990 pledging racial healing, and famously referred to New York City's demographic diversity as "not a melting pot, but a gorgeous mosaic".


However, the high absolute levels, the peak early in his administration, and the only modest decline subsequently resulted in David Dinkins' suffering politically from the perception that crime remained out of control on his watch.


David Dinkins' term was marked by a greater push toward accountability and oversight regarding police misconduct, which led to friction between David Dinkins and the city's Patrolmen's Benevolent Association.


David Dinkins was rebuffed in his attempt to end the licensing of locksmiths.


David Dinkins signed a last-minute 99-year lease with the USTA National Tennis Center.


David Dinkins's term was marked by polarizing events such as the Family Red Apple boycott, a boycott of a Korean-owned grocery in Flatbush, Brooklyn, and the 1991 Crown Heights riot.


In 1991, when "Iraqi Scud missiles were falling" in Israel and the Mayor's press secretary said "security would be tight and gas masks would be provided for the contingent", Mayor David Dinkins visited Israel as a sign of support.


The David Dinkins administration was adversely affected by a declining economy, which led to lower tax revenue and budget shortfalls.


New York City's crime rate, including the murder rate, declined in Dinkins' final years in office; Dinkins persuaded the state legislature to dedicate certain tax revenue for crime control, and he hired Raymond W Kelly as police commissioner.


David Dinkins continued an initiative begun by Ed Koch to rehabilitate dilapidated housing in northern Harlem, the South Bronx, and Brooklyn; overall more housing was rehabilitated in David Dinkins' only term than Giuliani's two terms.


In 1993, David Dinkins lost to Republican Rudy Giuliani in a rematch of the 1989 election.


David Dinkins earned 48.3 percent of the vote, down from 51 percent in 1989.


From 1994 until his death, David Dinkins was a professor of professional practice at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.


David Dinkins was a member of the board of directors of the United States Tennis Association.


David Dinkins served on the boards of the New York City Global Partners, the Children's Health Fund, the Association to Benefit Children, and the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund.


David Dinkins supported Democrats Fernando Ferrer in the 2005 New York mayoral election, Bill Thompson in 2009, and Bill de Blasio in 2013.


David Dinkins sat on the board of directors and in 2013 was on the Honorary Founders Board of The Jazz Foundation of America.


David Dinkins worked with that organization to save the homes and lives of America's elderly jazz and blues musicians, including musicians who survived Hurricane Katrina.


David Dinkins served on the boards of the Children's Health Fund, the Association to Benefit Children, and the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund.


David Dinkins was chairman emeritus of the board of directors of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS.


David Dinkins was a champion of college access, serving on the Posse Foundation National Board of Directors until his death in 2020.


David Dinkins was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha and Sigma Pi Phi, the oldest collegiate and first professional Greek-letter fraternities, respectively, established for African Americans.


In 1994, David Dinkins was part of an Episcopal Church delegation to Haiti.


David Dinkins was hospitalized in New York on October 31,2013, for treatment of pneumonia.


David Dinkins was hospitalized again for pneumonia on February 19,2016.


David Dinkins starred as himself on April 13,2018, in "Risk Management", the 19th episode of the 8th season of the CBS police procedural drama Blue Bloods.


On November 23,2020, David Dinkins died from unspecified natural causes at his home on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, about a month after his wife's death.