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David Dinkins: Fast facts about the former mayor

David Dinkins, the first — and only — black mayor of New York City, celebrates his 90th birthday Monday.

The Rev. Al Sharpton launched celebrations for the former politician's big 9-0 on Saturday morning at a civil rights rally in Harlem, but the festivities will continue on July 10 with a party that hundreds of guests are expected to attend, the Daily News reported.

Here's what you should know about the birthday boy:

Dinkins was born in Trenton, NJ, in 1927

In his early childhood, his parents separated, and
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Mike Coppola

In his early childhood, his parents separated, and he and his younger sister moved to Harlem with their mother. "Dink," as his classmates called him, attended high school back in Trenton and served in the Marines during World War II.

Dinkins got his undergraduate degree in D.C.

Dinkins studied mathematics at Howard University, but he
Photo Credit: Google Maps

Dinkins studied mathematics at Howard University, but he got his law degree at Brooklyn Law School in 1956.

Dinkins became Manhattan borough president in 1985

By that time, the politician had already served
Photo Credit: Chris Hatch

By that time, the politician had already served as a New York State assemblyman, a New York City clerk and deputy mayor for Abraham D. Beame. He had withdrawn from that last position after revealing he hadn't paid his income taxes for three years. It took Dinkins three tries to win the Manhattan borough president seat, according to the New York Times.

Pictured: Dinkins (from left), Police Commissioner Ben Ward, Mayor Ed Koch and New York City Council President Andrew Stein walk up Fifth Avenue during the St. Patrick's Day parade on March 17, 1988.

Dinkins beat Koch and Giuliani to win the 1989 mayoral election

Dinkins knocked three-term incumbent Koch out of the
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Jim McIsaac

Dinkins knocked three-term incumbent Koch out of the running in the Democratic primary, then won the general election to become the city's first black mayor.

"I see New York as a gorgeous mosaic of race and religious faith, of national origin and sexual orientation,'' he said in his inaugural address, solidifying the phrase "gorgeous mosaic" as his administration's trademark slogan.

Pictured: Former mayors David Dinkins (from left), Ed Koch, and Rudy Giuliani chat before the start of a New York Yankees World Series Victory Celebration at City Hall in 2009.

The Crown Heights riots of 1991 may have ruined his chance of a 2nd term

The racial riots pitting Hasidic Jews against African-American
Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

The racial riots pitting Hasidic Jews against African-American and Caribbean residents erupted on Aug. 19, after a fatal car accident. Dinkins, who had been elected on a promise to heal a racially divided city, accepted responsibility for letting the unrest escalate for several days. In response to a state report examining the origins and trajectory of the riots, the mayor admitted he should have instructed the police to crack down on violence earlier than he did.

Dinkins gave Nelson Mandela the key to NYC in 1990

The anti-Apartheid revolutionary started his eight-city tour in
Photo Credit: Mayor's Office

The anti-Apartheid revolutionary started his eight-city tour in 1990 in New York City. In 2013, Dinkins recalled the visit as one of the high points of his time as mayor. "I can't think of anything that moved me more than that experience," he told the Times. "The thing that fascinated me most about this great man was his total absence of bitterness. He was the same always, whether playing with my grandchildren or being interviewed by Ted Koppel on 'Nightline.' The way I remember it, Ted Koppel said, 'Well, now, the Communists....' Mandela said, 'They were the only ones who helped us. Next question.'"

Rudy Giuliani beat Dinkins in the 1993 mayoral election

Dinkins earned 48.3 percent of the vote. His
Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images / Don Emmert

Dinkins earned 48.3 percent of the vote.

His administration counted among its successes the "Safe Streets, Safe City: Cops and Kids" campaign (a program to put more police officers on the streets), the revitalization of Times Square, the negotiation of a contract to keep the the U.S. Open Tennis Championships in New York City for 99 years, and the creation of such events as Fashion Week, Restaurant Week and Broadway on Broadway.

These days, he's teaching and watching tennis matches

The tennis fan is a professor of professional
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Matthew Stockman

The tennis fan is a professor of professional practice in the Faculty of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

He's been married to Joyce or more than 60 years

The two met at Howard University. They married
Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images / Mark Phillips

The two met at Howard University. They married in 1953, the year she graduated, according to the Times. When the couple moved into Gracie Mansion in 1990, Joyce Dinkins was the first woman to live there in 12 years.

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