The David N. Dinkins Papers contain documents from his 1985 campaign for Manhattan Borough president, as well as 1989 and 1993 campaigns for mayor. The bulk of material consists of campaign literature, fundraising events, and materials from volunteers for the Committee for David Dinkins, endorsements by constituency, speeches with drafts, candidate questionnaires with responses, and position papers. Also included is an extensive photograph collection that contains images of David Dinkins alongside many political figures.
David N. Dinkins was born in Trenton, New Jersey on July 10, 1927. After graduating high school he enrolled in Howard University in Washington, DC. World War II erupted and his studies were put on hold when he served in the United States Marine Corps. Following the war, he went on to obtain his bachelor's degree in mathematics from Howard University in 1950. He married Joyce Burrows, a former classmate, after graduating from Howard. They moved to Harlem in 1951 and in 1956 he graduated from Brooklyn Law School. Dinkins practiced law in New York City from 1956 until 1975.
In 1965, Dinkins was elected a New York State assemblyman, serving one term. From 1972-1973, he served as president of the Board of Elections and from 1975-1985, served as city clerk. He went on to serve as Manhattan Borough President from 1986-1989. He ran for mayor of the City of New York in 1989, becoming the city’s 106th mayor and its first African-American mayor, 1990-1993.
Mayor Dinkins instituted "Safe Streets, Safe City: Cops and Kids," the model criminal justice plan for reducing crime and expanding opportunities for the children of New York City, and established the Beacon schools. Mr. Dinkins is a founding member of the Black and Puerto Rican Legislative Caucus of New York State, the Council of Black Elected Democrats of New York State, and One Hundred Black Men. He was vice president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and is a Member-at-Large of the Black Leadership Forum.
He is chairman emeritus of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS and the Constituency for Africa (CFA), and serves on the steering committee of the Association for a Better New York. He serves on the International Advisory Board of Independent News & Media and New York City Global Partners, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is an Honorary Life Trustee of the Community Service Society of New York, an Honorary Trustee of the Friends of Harlem Hospital and a Lifetime Member of the NAACP.
Professor David Dinkins is a member of the faculty at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). He also serves on SIPA's Advisory Board, chairs the Earth Institute's NYC Sustainable Development Initiative, and hosts the annual Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum. In 2003, the David N. Dinkins Professorship in the Practice of Urban and Public Affairs was established at Columbia University.
Additional information about the content of the Dinkins papers and access to them can be obtained by contacting the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at (212) 854-5153 or firstname.lastname@example.org