Giuliani honors David Dinkins in death but not in life

Clay Curtis
November 24, 2020

De Blasio, who worked in Dinkins' administration, named Manhattan's Municipal Building after the former mayor in October 2015.

But it was his role in the 1991 Crown Heights riot that would most define his mayoralty. He lost a rematch to Giuliani by 53,000 votes four years later, after Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor, vowed to reorganize the Police Department in a war against crime. Critics said he was too soft and too slow. "He was my mentor, he was my friend, and his steadfast commitment to fight for that "gorgeous mosaic" inspires me every single day".

"David Dinkins simply set this city on a better path", Hizzoner wrote on Twitter. He raised taxes to hire thousands of police officers.

His favorite moment as mayor was the 1990 visit of Nelson Mandela, whom Dinkins hosted at Gracie Mansion.

The NYPD said initial indications were that he died of natural causes.

Dinkins death was confirmed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, the NYT reports: "Cautious, deliberate, a Harlem Democrat who climbed to City Hall through relatively minor elective and appointive offices, Mr. Dinkins had none of the flamboyance of Edward I. Koch, who preceded him, or Rudolph W. Giuliani, who succeeded him - who, along with Fiorello H. La Guardia in the 1930s and '40s, were arguably the city's most dominant mayors of the 20th century". He is co-author, with Daniel Feldman, of "Tales from the Sausage Factory: Making Laws in New York State" published in 2010.

In his inaugural address, he vowed to be "mayor of all the people of New York" and declared, "we are all foot soldiers on the march to freedom". He was considered an apt person to change the image and fortune of the city. "His major contribution lay in motivating political inclusion among a vast number of minority residents who hadn't felt included or empowered".

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

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After office, he taught at Columbia University and hosted a local radio programme, the Post added. That deal guaranteed that the U.S. Open would remain in New York City for decades. He was elected Manhattan borough president in 1985.

Born on July 10, 1927 in Trenton, N.J., the young Dinkins and his family moved to Harlem but he returned to Trenton to attend high school. After serving two years in the U.S. Marines, he entered Howard University in Washington D.C., where he studied mathematics and graduated with honors in 1950. Dinkins paid his dues as a Democratic functionary while earning a law degree from Brooklyn Law School, and then went into private practice.

Dinkins was found unresponsive at his home by a home health aide, who informed 911.

The violence began after a Black 7-year-old boy was accidentally killed by a vehicle in the motorcade of an Orthodox Jewish religious leader.

He noted that Dinkins' famous kindness and calmness was not a political act. Dinkins recounted years later. "But if I had it to do over again, I would have said maybe 24 hours earlier to the police, 'What you're doing isn't working, ' which I finally said". Citing Kelly's performance as Dinkins's appointee, then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg chose him for a second stint in 2002.

Dinkins' wife, Joyce Burrows Dinkins, died last month.

Dinkins is survived by his son, David Jr., daughter, Donna and two grandchildren.

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