Found after his death by sister Pat Thaler, the diary reveals that, even at age 19, the man who would become mayor of New York spoke out against injustice. Here’s one entry:
Had an argument with several of the boys over anti-Negro prejudice, this led to arguments over Jews and the usual line. The arguments Lee presented were very poor and ignorant. He believes the Negro is inferior because of skull structure and that man was descended from monkeys. I know that he is very biased even though he covers it up with an air of friendliness. It’s a pity that there are so few liberals in the land and so many ignorant people. I’m referring to all the bigoted individuals who make up this country.