David Dinkins, New York City's 1st Black mayor, dead at 93

New York City Mayor David Dinkins center is seen at a reception for the Tel Aviv Foundation in New York on Oct. 23 1993

NYC's first African-American mayor, David Dinkins, has died

David Dinkins, New York's only Black mayor, whose struggles with civil unrest and racial strife in the early 1990s overshadowed his success in beginning the city's two-decade trend of reduced crime, has died.

I extend my deepest condolences to the family of Mayor David Dinkins, and to the many New Yorkers who loved and supported him.

"I extend my deepest condolences to the family of Mayor David Dinkins, and to the many New Yorkers who loved and supported him", tweeted Giuliani, who was mayor of NY from 1994 to 2001 and is now President Donald Trump's personal attorney.

He broke barriers with his 1989 election, managing to defeat three-term incumbent Ed Koch during the Democratic primary that year and later best Republican Rudy Giuliani in the general election.

Born in Trenton, New Jersey in 1927, Dinkins served in the US Marine Corps from 1945-47 and then studied mathematics at Howard University. 'It's not unusual for me, ' Mr. Dinkins said about taking part in the parade.

The pinnacle of his career was becoming mayor of New York City, making history in the process.

The violence began after a seven-year-old black boy was accidentally killed by a vehicle in the motorcade of an Orthodox Jewish religious leader.

"Dave, Do Something!" screamed one New York Post headline in 1990, his first year in office.

Back in NY with a degree in mathematics, Dinkins married his college sweetheart, Joyce Burrows, in 1953. Dinkins recounted years later. Graduating in 1950, he went on to attend law school at Brooklyn Law School, graduating in 1956 after which he settled in Harlem. Mr Dinkins had been a longtime, outspoken critic of apartheid in South Africa.

In that same year, though, Dinkins was criticized for his handling of a Black-led boycott of Korean-operated grocery stores in Brooklyn.

Murders fell to 1,927 in 1993, Dinkins' a year ago in office, from a high of 2,262 in 1990, under the leadership of Raymond Kelly, whom Dinkins had appointed police commissioner in 1992.

"One would have gotten the impression that on December 31, 1989, there was no crime, and on the next day, when I took office, the homicide rate was over 2,000 a year, as though it had occurred overnight", Dinkins wrote in his 2013 autobiography, "A Mayor's Life".

David Dinkins served as leader of the city from 1990 to 1993. That deal guaranteed that the U.S. Open would remain in New York City for decades.

After leaving office, Dinkins was a professor at Columbia University's School of global and Public Affairs.

He had a pacemaker inserted in August 2008, and underwent an emergency appendectomy in October 2007. They had two children: David Jr. and Donna Hoggard.

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