Harlem’s Joyce Dinkins, Wife Of Former NYC Mayor David Dinkins, Passes (Updated)

Joyce Dinkins, the former first lady of New York City, has died at 89. Dinkins died Sunday at home, her family said in a statement.

…Joyce Dinkins focused her efforts on the city’s children and promoted programs that would improve their literacy as well as access to the arts.

Her husband, David Dinkins, was the city’s first — and, to date, only — Black mayor. During his term as mayor from 1990 to 1993, Joyce Dinkins focused her efforts on the city’s children and promoted programs that would improve their literacy as well as access to the arts.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who served during David Dinkins’ mayoral administration, said, “Joyce Dinkins played a huge role in her husband’s path to the mayoralty. Such a strong and good woman so dignified in everything she did.”

She was “such a strong and good woman, so dignified in everything she did,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who worked in the Dinkins administration. He said she played “a huge role” in her husband’s political life.


“We lost a great woman, Mrs. Joyce Dinkins. She was a quiet but strong committed woman who made us sit up w/ pride. She will be missed and always remembered. I talked with Mayor Dinkins to salute her Spirit, May she rest in Power. Our First Lady forever!”

Harlem’s Rev. Al Sharpton said, “We lost a great woman, Mrs. Joyce Dinkins. She was a quiet but strong committed woman who made us sit up w/ pride. She will be missed and always remembered. I talked with Mayor Dinkins to salute her Spirit, May she rest in Power. Our First Lady forever!”

“Born in NYC, she spent her time as its First Lady with grace & purpose—dedicated to education and a champion for literacy,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Twitter.

When her husband — a Democrat — became mayor, she retired from her job in the State Department of Taxation and Finance and took up her role as the first lady.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, “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.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said, ” Mayor Dinkins liked to tell the story that his wife once told him that she could have married anyone she chose, even a ditch digger because her influence was such that her husband would have done well! Mrs. Dinkins did not share this fable, the Mayor did, and we always laughed, even if we heard it over and over.”

Raised in Harlem, she grew up as one of two daughters of Daniel Burrows, a businessman who became involved in Democratic politics and was among the first Black men to serve in the state Assembly. He encouraged his son-in-law to get into politics.

Raised in Harlem, she grew up as one of two daughters of Daniel Burrows, a businessman who became involved in Democratic politics and was among the first Black men to serve in the state Assembly. He encouraged his son-in-law to get into politics.

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She went to Howard University, where she majored in sociology, became a member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority, and met her future husband, whom she married in 1953.

Dinkins is survived by her husband, two children and two grandchildren.

Photo credit: Joyce Dinkins Wikipedia.

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