David Norman Dinkins (born July 10, 1927) is an American politician, lawyer, and author who served as the 106th Mayor of New York City, from 1990 to 1993. He was the first and, to date, the only African American to hold that office.
Before entering politics, Dinkins was among the more than 20,000 Montford Point Marines, the first African-American U.S. Marines (trained 1942–1949; Dinkins’ service was 1945–1946); he graduated cum laude from Howard University; and he received his law degree from Brooklyn Law School (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 more rapidly than at any time 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 serves 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 is also on the advisory board of Independent News & Media and the Black Leadership Forum, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is chairman emeritus of the board of directors of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS.