Taken in part from the NYPost
David Dinkins, who was elected New York City’s mayor in 1989 died Monday night. Dinkins visited the Rebbe on numerous occasions.
The former mayor passed away due to natural causes at his Upper East Side home at around 9:30 p.m. He was 93 years old.
His death comes a little over a month after his wife, Joyce, died at their home. She was 89.
Dinkins — who defeated three-term incumbent Ed Koch in the 1989 Democratic primary — beat Republican Rudy Giuliani that year to become the city’s 106th mayor.
Giuliani mourned the death of Dinkins on Monday night.
“I extend my deepest condolences to the family of Mayor David Dinkins, and to the many New Yorkers who loved and supported him,” Giuliani wrote on Twitter.
“He gave a great deal of his life in service to our great City. That service is respected and honored by all.”
He would serve one-term until 1993, when he narrowly lost his re-election bid in a re-match against his GOP foe.
His turbulent time in office was marked by rampant crime and racial unrest.
Perhaps the biggest fumble by the Dinkins administration was the belated response to racial rioting in Crown Heights in 1991.
A damning state report concluded Dinkins “failed to act in a timely and decisive manner” and also rapped his Police Commissioner Lee Brown and for “inadequate” supervision.
“I wish I had challenged police accounts earlier,” Dinkins said at the time. “The larger lesson is, one has to challenge, cross-examine and question,” he said after the report’s release.
The report was released just months before his re-election bid, against Giuliani, a mob-busting former US Attorney. Many believe the mishandling of the Crown Heights contributed to Dinkins’ defeat.
Dinkins was initially elected as a healer. But now his critics — including rival Giuliani — said he couldn’t keep the peace and was soft on crime.
An earlier racially charged controversy had already put Dinkins’ City Hall on its heels — a black activists boycott of a Korean-owned grocery store in Brooklyn’s Flatbush section. The protests were spurred by a dispute between a black customer and the grocer.
Dinkins worked behind the scenes to try to end the boycott, which dragged on for eight months.
“The Crown Heights riot and the Korean deli boycott Dinkins handled with less than skill. The state report on the Crown Heights controversy did him in,” said Baruch College professor Doug Muzzio.