Joyce Dinkins, wife of NYC’s first Black mayor, dead at 89

The powerhouse wife of former New York City mayor David Dinkins was an advocate for education.

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The former first lady of New York City, Joyce Dinkins, has passed away.

Mrs. Dinkins is credited as being a powerhouse and reportedly played a major part in her husband, David Dinkins, becoming the first Black mayor of New York City, an office he held from 1990 to 1993. She was 89 when she passed away on Sunday.

In this 2014 photo, Joyce Dinkins attends a special evening honoring her husband, David Dinkins, the 106th mayor of New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)

As the city’s first lady, Dinkins advocated for arts for kids, education and health care. She was an honorary chair of the Mayor’s Task Force on Child Abuse, honorary chairperson of New York City’s Children’s Week, and chairperson of “The First Day Back to School,” according to the N.Y. Daily News.

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“Very sad to learn of the passing of Joyce Dinkins. Born in NYC, she spent her time as its First Lady with grace & purpose—dedicated to education and a champion for literacy. My deepest condolences go out to Mayor Dinkins, their children David and Donna, and all her loved ones,” tweeted New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday when he learned of her death.

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Operations manager Lynda Hamilton offered these words about the late first lady, per ABC 7: “Joyce Burrows Dinkins, the youngest of two daughters of Daniel Burrows and Elaine Nelthrop Burrows, was born in 1930. Daniel Burrows was a prominent entrepreneur and political figure in Harlem. Joyce was raised and educated in Harlem, and graduated from George Washington High School. She then attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology in 1953.”

Mrs. Dinkins is survived by her husband and their two children, David Dinkins Jr. and Donna Dinkins.

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