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*On this date, in 1927, David Dinkins was born. He was a Black politician, lawyer, and author. who, from 1990 to 1993, served as the 106th Mayor of New York City. He was the first African American to hold that office.
David Norman Dinkins was born in Trenton, New Jersey, the son of Sarah "Sally" Lucy and William Harvey Dinkins Jr. His mother was a domestic worker, and his father was a barber and real estate agent. His father raised him after his parents separated when he was six. Dinkins moved to Harlem as a child before returning to Trenton. He attended Trenton Central High School, where he graduated in 1945.
After graduating and attempting to enlist in the United States Marine Corps, he finally found a recruiting station that had not, in his words, "filled their quota for Negro Marines." He served in the Marine Corps from July 1945 through August 1946, attaining the rank of private first class. Dinkins was among the Montford Point Marines awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by the United States Senate and House of Representatives. In 1950, Dinkins graduated cum laude from Howard University with a degree in mathematics. He received his LL.B. from Brooklyn Law School in 1956.
Dinkins began his political career by serving in the State Assembly (1966), eventually advancing to Manhattan borough president before becoming mayor. Under the Dinkins administration, crime in New York City decreased more dramatically and rapidly than ever in previous New York City history. After leaving office, Dinkins joined the faculty of Columbia University. Dinkins was a member of the board of directors of the United States Tennis Association and a member of the Jazz Foundation of America.
He served on the boards of the New York City Global Partners, the Children's Health Fund, the Association to Benefit Children, and the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund. Dinkins was also on the advisory board of Independent News & Media and the Black Leadership Forum, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and was chairman emeritus of the board of directors of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS.
David Dinkins died on November 23, 2020.