Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Former NYC Mayor David Dinkins Dies Yesterday At 93 - Roosevelt Island Remembers Him As Gracious Gentleman, Friendly Tram Rider And Tennis Lover

Former NYC Mayor David Dinkins died yesterday at the age of 93.

Mayor Dinkins was often seen on the Roosevelt Island Tram on his way back and forth from playing tennis at the Roosevelt Island Racquet Club.

Skip Hartman, the owner of the Roosevelt Island Racquet Club remembers his friend David Dinkins:

David and I really met while watching a competition at the Harlem Armory in 1975. He was then Clerk of the City of New York and an influential leader in the Democratic Party. I was a budding indoor tennis entrepreneur. He actually was part of a group of tennis friends that was then playing at my first indoor club, Stadium Tennis Center in the Bronx. David loved to play tennis, was a solid intermediate player who kept improving his game , He greatly admired Arthur Ashe and embraced NYJTL's mission of bringing tennis to all children. He gladly served on the NYJTL Board from 1975 to 1985, and then again, after serving as Manhattan Borough President and Mayor, from 1994 to 2020. 36 years. He was instrumental in the early 1980's introducing NYJTL to the NYC Board of Education and his prestige opened many doors to NYJTL's work. 

When David became Mayor he and Joyce lived in Gracie Mansion, the Mayor's official residence. Sara and I lived ( and still do) a few hundred feet away. David wanted to play in the mornings for exercise and relief. If he had to last minute cancel for a City emergency, I would not be way out of pocket. So from his many tennis friends I got the call to play. We played vigorous singles tennis several weekday mornings for the next 22 years, and became best friends.  

Our City has lost a great public servant and elder statesman. NYJTL has lost an invaluable supporter. Tennis has lost an enthusiastic player. The USTA has lost a devoted leader. I have lost the best friend a person could have. David, Joyce, David Jr., Donna and their families will always be loved by us.

Here's more on Mayor David Dinkins:


Condolences to his family and friends. 

Rest in peace Mr Mayor.

UPDATE 11/28 - A tipster shares these photos of Mayor Dinkins in 1992 at Roosevelt Island tennis courts.