Former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, who led he city from 1990 to 1993, has died. He was 93 years old. According to NBC New York, Dinkins' cause of death is currently unknown but is speculated to be natural causes. He was reportedly found unresponsive by his health aide on Monday evening.
Dinkins was New York City's first, and only, Black mayor. He defeated previous New York City Mayor Ed Koch in 1989 but lost to Rudy Giuliani in 1993. During Dinkins' first year as mayor, the city's rising crime rates declined and continued to do so over the remainder of his term. Dinkins made a vow to the citizens of the city that he would be a "mayor of all the people of New York" and stated, "We are all foot soldiers on the march to freedom." His death comes just over a month after the death of his wife, Joyce Dinkins.
A number of politicians and leaders have since spoken out about Dinkins' death, as his time as mayor of New York City was an inspiration for many. "The example Mayor David Dinkins set for all of us shines brighter than the most powerful lighthouse imaginable," New York Attorney General Letitia James wrote in a statement. "For decades, Mayor Dinkins lead with compassion and an unparalleled commitment to our communities."
Chirlane and I are mourning a truly great man. David Dinkins simply set this city on a better path.
He was my mentor, he was my friend, and his steadfast commitment to fight for that “gorgeous mosaic” inspires me every single day.
We’ll keep up his fight. pic.twitter.com/gL0yY8Ae9s— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) November 24, 2020
"His deliberative and graceful demeanor belied his burning passion for challenging the inequalities that plague our society," James went on to write. "Personally, Mayor Dinkins' example was an inspiration to me from my first run for city council to my campaigns for public advocate and attorney general. I was honored to have him hold the bible at my inaugurations because I, and others, stand on his shoulders."
Giuliani has also issued a statement on Dinkins' death, writing in a tweet, "I extend my deepest condolences to the family of Mayor David Dinkins, and to the many New Yorkers who loved and supported him. He gave a great deal of his life in service to our great City. That service is respected and honored by all."