The New York Daily News reports:
David Dinkins, whose historic 1989 victory as the city’s first and only black mayor was quickly eclipsed by rising crime and racial turmoil that doomed his re-election, died Monday at his home, police said. He was 93. His death comes a little more than a month after his wife, Joyce, passed away on Oct. 11.
Dinkins, in his two decades after leaving City Hall, kept a busy schedule but a relatively low profile — teaching at Columbia University, doing charity work and making occasional appearances.
The genteel Dinkins, a product of Harlem’s Democratic machine, defeated three-term incumbent Ed Koch and future mayor Rudy Giuliani in his groundbreaking triumph.
The New York Times reports:
Mr. Dinkins was rejected by voters in 1993 after one term amid criticism over his handling of four days of racial violence in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. His aides said he insisted on conceding to Mr. Giuliani despite a close result because he did not want to risk inflaming passions in a city that was starkly polarized along racial lines.
Mr. Giuliani, who beat Mr. Dinkins by sweeping the white ethnic neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island that were his political base, went on to become, arguably, one of the city’s most dominant mayors of the 20th century, alongside Fiorello H. La Guardia.