He went from the New York State Assembly to becoming the Manhattan Borough President.
The pinnacle of his career was becoming mayor of New York City.
He was the first African-American to be elected as the city's mayor and was sworn in back in 1990.
The son of a barber and domestic worker from Trenton went on to become mayor of the nation's biggest city and is now an elder statesman of the New York Democratic Party.
Mayor Bill de Blasio worked in the Dinkins Administration as a young man. That's where the current mayor met his wife, Chirlene McCray.
Former Mayor Dinkins joins us this week on Up Close.