Today in History: David Dinkins Becomes First Black Mayor Of New York

The Honorable Mayor David Dinkins

The Honorable Mayor David Dinkins

On this day in 1989, David Dinkins was elected, making him the first black mayor of New York City.

Dinkins lost his bid for reelection to Rudy Giuliani in 1993, attributing his loss to racism. During that time, the city experienced the Crown Heights race riots in addition to an overall increase in crime.

Before becoming mayor, Dinkins served in the marines during World War II, earned a degree in mathematics from Howard and ultimately a law degree from Brooklyn Law School.

In 1966, Dinkins was elected to the New York State Assembly, and became Manhattan’s borough president in 1985.

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