By: Gerren Keith Gaynor, The Grio
New York City lost a political giant as its first Black mayor, David Dinkins, has died, the New York Times reports.
Dinkins, 93, died at his home on Monday night in the Upper East Side in the city where he served as its 106th mayor for one term from 1990 to 1993. A home health aide discovered 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.
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, and yet has been 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 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 beloved by New Yorkers and fellow politicians. He also consulted for former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other former mayors, even 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 Twitt“He gave a great deal of his life in service to our great City. That service is respected and honored by all.”
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.