Saturday, January 16, 2021 | ePaper

New York City's first black mayor David Dinkins dies

  • Print




The first and only black mayor of New York City, David Dinkins, has died at the age of 93.
Officers were called to his home on Monday evening, New York police were quoted by the Associated Press (AP) as saying. Initial indications were that he died of natural causes.
The son of a barber born in 1927 in New Jersey, he studied at Howard University and Brooklyn Law School.
He later went on to serve as the city's mayor from 1990 to 1993.
His successor, Rudy Giuliani, paid tribute to Mr Dinkins on Twitter on Monday night, saying he had given a "great deal of his life in service to our great City. That service is respected and honoured by all".
Having grown up in New Jersey, he eventually came to Harlem, where he rose through the local politics ranks.
At the time he took office, Mr Dinkins described the city as a "gorgeous mosaic of race and religious faith, of national origin and sexual orientation, of individuals whose families arrived yesterday and generations ago, coming through Ellis Island or Kennedy Airport or on buses bound for the Port Authority".
But the city at the time was also plagued by a number of problems, including a growing murder and crime rate, racial unrest, unemployment and homelessness.
During his time, he revitalised Times Square and spent millions of dollars to rehabilitate housing in some of the most deprived parts of the city, such as Harlem and the Bronx.
His approach was also described as low key and sometimes perceived as too soft.
"Dave, Do Something!" said one New York Post headline in 1990, during his first year in office, the AP reports.
And his consequent defeat at the ballot box is put down to his handling of the race riots in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, in 1991, after a young black boy was accidentally killed by a car in the motorcade of an Orthodox Jewish religious leader.
In a 2013 memoir, Mr Dinkins acknowledged missteps during his term, including a failure to contain the Crown Heights riots, the New York Times reports.
But he explained the narrowness of his victory in the 1989 mayoral election, and his defeat four years later to Mr Giuliani to the fact that he was black.
"I think it was just racism, pure and simple," Mr Dinkins said in A Mayor's Life: Governing New York's Gorgeous Mosaic, written with Peter Knobler.

More News For this Category

Museveni heads for election win, rival alleges fraud

Museveni heads for election win, rival alleges fraud

Reuters :Long-time leader Yoweri Museveni was heading for a resounding win in Uganda's presidential election with nearly all votes counted on Saturday, but his main rival Bobi Wine alleged

US troop levels cut to 2,500 each in Afghanistan and Iraq, lowest mark in two decades

US troop levels cut to 2,500 each in Afghanistan and Iraq, lowest mark in two decades

AFP :The US military has cut troop levels in Afghanistan and Iraq to 2,500 each, their lowest levels in the nearly two decades since the wars began, the Pentagon

South African scientists discover new chemicals that kill malaria parasite

Reuters :South African scientists have discovered chemical compounds that could potentially be used for a new line of drugs to treat malaria and even kill the parasite in its

UN rights body picks Fiji’s first ever vote

AFP :The UN Human Rights Council elected Fiji's ambassador as its 2021 president in an unprecedented secret ballot after a diplomatic stand-off blocked the usual consensus decision.Fiji's ambassador in

Amid vaccine rollout, Global Covid-19 death toll tops 2 m

Amid vaccine rollout, Global Covid-19 death toll tops 2 m

Reuters :The worldwide coronavirus death toll surpassed 2 million on Friday, according to a Reuters tally, as nations around the world are trying to procure multiple vaccines and detect

Trump administration takes final swipes at China and its companies

Trump administration takes final swipes at China and its companies

Reuters :The Trump administration in its waning days took another swipe at China and its biggest firms on Thursday, imposing sanctions on officials and companies for alleged misdeeds in

Erdogan receives Covid-19 vaccine

Erdogan receives Covid-19 vaccine

Reuters, Ankara :Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan received his COVID-19 vaccine in front of TV cameras on Thursday, a move which a spokesman for his AK Party said aimed to

India's protesting farmers, govt hold ninth round of talks

India's protesting farmers, govt hold ninth round of talks

Al Jazeera  :Leaders of Indian farmers' unions have held yet another another round of talks with the government in New Delhi in their latest bid to settle a dispute

Navalny faces arrest on return, Russian prison service warns

Navalny faces arrest on return, Russian prison service warns

Al Jazeera  :Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny faces immediate arrest once he returns to Russia, the country's prison service has warned, claiming it was "obliged" to detain him.Navalny, who has

Abortion becomes legal in Argentina as Chile starts a debate

Abortion becomes legal in Argentina as Chile starts a debate

AFP :Argentina on Thursday became one of just a handful of Latin American countries to allow elective abortion, as neighbouring Chile initiated its own debate on decriminalizing a procedure