NYC’s first, only black mayor dies at 93

David Norman Dinkins, the first and, to date, only black mayor of New York City, passed away at the age of 93 at his residence in Manhattan, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) told local media.

“(My wife) 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,” tweeted NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio early Tuesday, who also confirmed Dinkins’ death, Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.

The Twitter account of NYC Mayor’s Office said, “As a mark of respect for the passing of former Mayor David Dinkins, city flags will fly at half-staff by order of Mayor Bill de Blasio.”

“With the passing of Mayor Dinkins, NY lost a remarkable civic leader. The first and the only Black mayor of NYC, he cherished our ‘gorgeous mosaic’ & served the city & state over a career spanning decades with the hope of unity and a deep kindness. My friend, you will be missed,” tweeted New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo early Tuesday.

Speaking frequently of what he called New York’s “gorgeous mosaic” of racial, ethnic and religious diversity, Dinkins championed economic equality and education for people of color, said CNN. But high crime, a national recession and several episodes of racial conflict largely defined Dinkins’ mayoralty in the early 1990s. He was ousted from office in 1993 in a close race by Rudy Giuliani.

Dinkins, born on July 10, 1927, served as the 106th mayor of New York City from 1990 to 1993.