||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2013)|
|Dinkins in February 2007|
|106th Mayor of New York City|
January 1, 1990 – December 31, 1993
|Preceded by||Ed Koch|
|Succeeded by||Rudy Giuliani|
|Borough President of Manhattan|
|Preceded by||Andrew Stein|
|Succeeded by||Ruth Messinger|
|Member of the New York State Assembly
from District 78
|Preceded by||Constituency established|
|Succeeded by||Edward Stevenson|
|Born||David Norman Dinkins
July 10, 1927
Trenton, New Jersey, U.S.
|Alma mater||Howard University
Brooklyn Law School
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||1945–1946|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
David Norman Dinkins (born July 10, 1927) is an American politician who served as the 106th Mayor of New York City, from 1990 to 1993. He was the first and is, to date, the only African American to hold that office.
Before entering politics, Dinkins served in the US Marine Corps, graduated from Howard University and Brooklyn Law School. He served as Deputy Mayor before becoming mayor. After leaving office, he became a professor of public affairs at Columbia University and is a member of The Jazz Foundation of America.
Early life and education 
Dinkins was born in Trenton, New Jersey, and raised by his father, his parents having separated when he was six years old. He moved to Harlem as a child but returned to Trenton and attended Trenton Central High School, where he graduated in 1945 in the top 10 percent of his class. After graduation, he attempted to enlist in the United States Marine Corps, but was told that a racial quota had been filled. He served in the Marine Corps from 1945 through 1946.
Political career 
Dinkins rose through the Democratic Party organization in Harlem and 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". As an investor, Dinkins was one of fifty African American investors who helped Percy Sutton found Inner City Broadcasting Corporation in 1971. He served briefly in the New York State Legislature.
Dinkins was named Deputy Mayor by Mayor Abraham D. Beame but was ultimately not appointed. He served as President of the Board of Elections from 1972 to 1973, and City Clerk from 1975 to 1985. He was elected Manhattan Borough President in 1985 on his third run for that office. Dinkins was elected Mayor of New York City on November 7, 1989, defeating three-term incumbent Mayor Ed Koch and two others in the Democratic primary and Republican candidate Rudy Giuliani in the general election. Dinkins came to visit the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, seeking his blessing and endorsement.
Dinkins was elected in the wake of a corruption scandal that involved several Democratic leaders in New York City. Mayor Koch, the presumptive Democratic nominee, was politically damaged by the corruption in his administration and his handling of racial issues, and among the candidates Dinkins was his greatest challenger. Additionally, the fact that Dinkins is African-American helped him avoid criticism he was ignoring the black vote by campaigning to whites. A large turnout of African-American voters was vital to his election and he campaigned throughout the city.[not in citation given]
Dinkins entered office pledging racial healing, and famously referred to New York City's demographic diversity as a "gorgeous mosaic." Dinkins's term was marked by polarizing events such as the boycott of Korean-owned groceries in Flatbush and the 1991 Crown Heights riot. When Lemrick Nelson was acquitted of killing Yankel Rosenbaum during the riot, Dinkins said "I have no doubt that in this case the criminal-justice system has operated fairly and openly."
The rates of most crimes, including all categories of violent crime, made consecutive declines during the last 36 months of his four-year term, ending a 30-year upward spiral and initiating a trend of falling rates that continued beyond his term. Despite the actual abating of crime, Dinkins was hurt by the perception that crime was out of control during his administration. Dinkins also initiated a hiring program that expanded the police department nearly 25%. The New York Times reported, "He obtained the State Legislature’s permission to dedicate a tax to hire thousands of police officers, and he fought to preserve a portion of that anticrime money to keep schools open into the evening, an award-winning initiative that kept tens of thousands of teenagers off the street."
1993 election 
In 1993, Dinkins lost to Republican Rudy Giuliani in a rematch of the 1989 election. Dinkins earned 48.3 percent of the vote, down from 51 percent in 1989. Although he was a moderate with a substantial history of building coalitions and supporting Jewish causes, one factor in his loss was his perceived indifference to the plight of the Jewish community during the Crown Heights riot. Another was a strong turnout for Giuliani in Staten Island; the Dinkins administration opposed a referendum on Staten Island's secession from New York. Dinkins defeated Giuliani handily in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, but Giuliani's margin in the other two boroughs was large enough to win the election.
During his final days in office, Dinkins made last-minute negotiations with the sanitation workers, presumably to preserve the public status of garbage removal. Incoming mayor Giuliani blamed Dinkins for a "cheap political trick" when Dinkins planned the resignation of Victor Gotbaum, Dinkins' appointee on the Board of Education, thus guaranteeing Gotbaum's replacement six months in office. Dinkins also signed a last minute 99-year lease with the USTA National Tennis Center, including strict limitations on flights in and out of neighboring LaGuardia Airport during the U.S. Open.
A 2009 report in The New York Times looking back at the Dinkins administration suggested that its achievements were not as Giuliani stated, noting:
- Significant accomplishments in lowering New York City's crime rate and increasing the size of the New York Police Department, and the hiring of Raymond W. Kelly as police commissioner;
- The cleanup and revitalization of Times Square, including persuading the Walt Disney Corporation to rehabilitate an old 42nd Street theater;
- Major commitment to rehabilitation of dilapidated housing in northern Harlem, the South Bronx and Brooklyn despite significant budget constraints-—more housing rehabilitated in a single term than Mr. Giuliani did in two terms;
- The USTA lease, which in its final form Mayor Michael Bloomberg called "the only good athletic sports stadium deal, not just in New York but in the country";
- Mental-health facility initiatives; and
- Policies and actions that decreased the size of the city's homeless shelter population to its lowest point in 20 years.
Later career 
Dinkins is a Professor in the Practice of Public Affairs at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. Each year Columbia hosts the Annual David N. Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum. In 2011 the 14th Annual Forum focused on Crisis in State Budgets, with keynote speaker U.S. Senator Kristen Gillibrand. Although he has not attempted a political comeback, he has remained somewhat active in politics, and his endorsement of various candidates, including Mark J. Green in the 2001 Mayoral race, was well-publicized. He supported Democrats Fernando Ferrer in the 2005 New York mayoral election and Bill Thompson in 2009.
Citywide tickets on which Dinkins ran 
1989 NYC Democratic ticket 
1993 NYC Democratic ticket 
Personal life 
Dinkins is married to Joyce Dinkins (née Burrows); they have two children. The couple are members of the Church of the Intercession in New York City. Dinkins' radio program "Dialogue with Dinkins" can be heard Saturday mornings on WLIB radio in New York City.
Humanitarian works 
Dinkins sat on the Board of Directors and in 2013 was on the Honorary Founders Board of The Jazz Foundation of America. He worked with the foundation to save the homes and the lives of America's elderly jazz and blues musicians, including musicians who survived Hurricane Katrina, since its inception.
See also 
- McQuiston, John T. (October 20, 1991). "William Dinkins, Mayor's Father And Real Estate Agent, Dies at 85". The New York Times.
- "David Dinkins Biography - 1190 WLIB - Your Praise & Inspiration Station". Wlib.com. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
- Cheers, D. Michael. "Mayor of 'The Big Apple': 'nice guy' image helps David N. Dinkins in building multi-ethnic, multiracial coalition – New York City", Ebony (magazine), February 1990. Accessed September 4, 2008.
- Schapiro, Rich, "Harlem 'trailblazer', former World War II Tuskegee Airmen [sic] Percy Sutton dies", New York Daily News, December 27, 2009.
- "NYC 100 - NYC Mayors - The First 100 Years". Nyc.gov. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
- Ehrlich, M. Avrum, The Messiah of Brooklyn: Understanding Lubavitch Hasidim Past and Present, (KTAV Publishing, January 2005) p. 109. ISBN 0-88125-836-9
- Lankevich, George J. (2002). New York City: A Short History. NYU Press via Books.google.com. pp. 237–238, paragraph 3. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
- Thompson, J. Phillip, "David Dinkins' Victory in New York City: The Decline of the Democratic Party Organization and the Strengthening of Black Politics", Political Science & Politics via jstor.org, June 1990.
- "black-voters-say-it-s-time-for-dinkins". Nytimes.com. September 10, 1989. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
- "A Memorial Tribute to Harrington", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 23, 1990.
- Purdum, Todd S. (January 2, 1990). "Mayor Dinkins; Dinkins Sworn In; Stresses Aid to Youth". The New York Times. Retrieved August 13, 2010.
- Taylor, John, "The Politics of Grievance: Dinkins, the Blacks, and the Jews", New York magazine via Google Books, December 7, 1992, p. 19
- Barrett, Wayne (June 25, 2001). "Giuliani's Legacy: Taking Credit For Things He Didn't Do". Gotham Gazette. Retrieved November 15, 2007.
- Langan, Patrick A.; Matthew R. Durose (December 2003). "The Remarkable Drop in Crime in New York City" (PDF). International Conference on Crime. Retrieved November 15, 2007. "According to NYPD statistics, crime in New York City took a downturn starting around 1990 that continued for many years, shattering all the city’s old records for consecutive-year declines in crime rates."
- Powell, Michael (October 25, 2009). "Another Look at the Dinkins Administration, and Not by Giuliani". The New York Times. Retrieved October 26, 2009..
- Roberts, Sam (August 7, 1994). "As Police Force Adds to Ranks, Some Promises Still Unfulfilled". The New York Times. Retrieved November 15, 2007.
- Purdum, Todd S. (November 3, 1993). "Giuliani ousts Dinkins by a thin margin ...". The New York Times.
- "Archives Main Page". Blackpressusa.com. November 11, 1989. Retrieved September 23, 2011.[dead link]
- Siegel, Fred, The Prince of the City: Giuliani, New York, and the Genius of American Life (San Francisco: Encounter Books, 2005) p. 90
- "SIPA: Faculty David N. Dinkins". Sipa.columbia.edu. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
- "Reporters Notebook: New Yorkers make their mark on Maryland politics". Gazette.net. October 1, 2010. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
- "1190 WLIB – Your Praise & Inspiration Station – Praise Team: On-Air Schedule". Wlib.com. January 6, 2009. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
- "Hon. David Dinkins", JazzFoundation.org. Retrieved 2013-01-27.
- McMullan, Patrick, May 10, 2009. "The Jazz Foundation of America's 'A great night in Harlem' benefit" (photo archive) patrickmcmullan.com, May 29, 2008. Event at the Apollo Theater, NYC. Accessed: May 10, 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: David Dinkins|
- Finding Aid for the David N. Dinkins Papers housed at Columbia University's Rare Book and Manuscript Library
- David Dinkins's oral history video excerpts at The National Visionary Leadership Project
|New York Assembly|
|New constituency||Member of the New York State Assembly
from District 78
|Borough President of Manhattan
|Mayor of New York City