Rudolph W. Giuliani, who defeated David N. Dinkins in New York City’s 1993 mayoral election, was among the public figures to commemorate Mr. Dinkins in the hours after his predecessor died late Monday at 93.
Mr. Giuliani, who had been among Mr. Dinkins’s severest critics, said on Twitter early Tuesday that his predecessor had given “a great deal of his life in service to our great City.” He added, “That service is respected and honored by all.”
New York State’s attorney general, Letitia James, said in a statement that Mr. Dinkins had inspired her bids for public office.
“The example Mayor David Dinkins set for all of us shines brighter than the most powerful lighthouse imaginable,” said Ms. James, who shattered racial and gender barriers when she was elected to her current post in 2018.
“For decades, Mayor Dinkins led with compassion and an unparalleled commitment to our communities,” Ms. James added. “His deliberative and graceful demeanor belied his burning passion for challenging the inequalities that plague our society.”
Mr. Dinkins liked to call New Yorkers a “gorgeous mosaic,” and he saw himself as a conciliator who might subdue the passions of multicultural neighborhoods with patience and dignity.
Ms. James nodded to that idea: “The voice that gave birth to the ‘gorgeous mosaic’ is now at rest,” she wrote.
Mr. Dinkins, a barber’s son, became New York City’s first Black mayor in 1990.
He was rejected by voters after one term amid criticism over his handling of four days of racial violence in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Mr. Giuliani beat him by sweeping the white ethnic neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island that were his political base.
Mr. Dinkins, by contrast, was a cautious, deliberate Harlem Democrat who climbed to City Hall through relatively minor elective and appointive offices.
Mr. Dinkins died at his home in Manhattan, less than two months after the death of his wife, Joyce.
African-American politicians from New York City were among those tweeting condolences in the hours after his death.
“We have lost another giant,” Representative Yvette Clarke of New York, who is from Brooklyn, wrote on Twitter. “My thoughts and prayers go out to the Dinkins family as we remember the Mayor’s great legacy in New York.”
Jamaal T. Bailey, a state senator from the Bronx, called Mr. Dinkins “a true trailblazer and legend.”
“People like me follow in your footsteps,” he wrote. “Representation matters. Thank you for paving the way for us.”
“So kind; So brilliant; So selfless!” wrote Michael Blake, a New York State assemblyman from the Bronx. “THANK YOU Mayor Dinkins. Rest well good and faithful servant.”
Journalists who knew Mr. Dinkins also weighed in on his life and legacy.
“Got to cover Mayor David Dinkins for @AP when he traveled to the Dominican Republic,” David Beard, a former Associated Press writer, said in a tweet. “The people treated Dinkins like a rock star, like their own president.”
Jane McManus, a longtime sports reporter, recalled that Mr. Dinkins was beloved by many people who worked at the U.S. Open tennis tournament.
“I was surprised to see a person I knew as a sober politician be so friendly and such a tennis fan, seemed like he always had that warm half-smile for people he knew,” wrote Ms. McManus, who now directs the Center for Sports Communication at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
“He and Bud Collins are probably up there now debating the best matches they ever saw,” she wrote, referring to a legendary tennis reporter who died in 2016.