Like father, like son: 1980s pictures of mayoral hopeful Bill de Blasio show him with an impressive Afro to rival his son's

  • New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio sported a quasi-Afro as a young man
  • 1980s photos show him with a full head of curly hair
  • The mayoral hopeful's 16-year-old son, Dante, is famous for his perfectly coiffed Afro
  • Dante has been described as de Blasio's 'secret weapon' in boosting his popularity

It's the towering Afro which changed the course of New York City's mayoral race.

Dante de Blasio's impressive hairstyle has featured heavily in his father Bill de Blasio's campaign, even catching the eye of an envious Barack Obama.

But it seems 16-year-old Dante has followed in the footsteps of his famous dad.

Bill de Blasio
Dante DeBlasio

Like father, like son: Bill de Blasio sports a cool Afro as a student in 1980 (left) which his son Dante (right) is emulating

Fromance: Bill de Blasio surrounded by his family - son Dante (left), daughter Chiara (center) and wife Chirlane McCray (right) - at his primary night party in September

Fromance: Bill de Blasio surrounded by his family - son Dante (left), daughter Chiara (center) and wife Chirlane McCray (right) - at his primary night party in September

Pictures from the 1980s show de Blasio as a college student sporting a full head of curls to rival his son's do.

As a New York University student, De Blasio - then known as Bill Wilhelm - was a wild-haired activist who regularly confronted school administrators about the cost of tuition.

His once manly mane can been seen in black and white photos of him protesting at a rally and standing in NYU's Loeb Student Center more than 30 years ago.

While the mayoral hopeful has never taken credit for his biracial son's 'fro, he has used it to help boost his public standing among voters, according to New York Post.

De Blasio, 52, has two children - Dante and Chiara - with his African-American wife, Chirlane McCray.

Rough around the edges:  Bill de Blasio - a wild-haired activist known as Bill Wilhelm - protesting against rising college fees at a rally in April 1981

Rough around the edges: Bill de Blasio - a wild-haired activist known as Bill Wilhelm - protesting against rising college fees at a rally in April 1981

Wild-haired: Bill de Blasio, pictured in NYU's Loeb Student Center in September 1980, was active in student politics

Wild-haired: Bill de Blasio, pictured in NYU's Loeb Student Center in September 1980, was active in student politics

When Dante starred in a campaign ad in August touting his father's skills, left-leaning de Blasio vaulted from fourth place to first in the Democratic primary.

A Quinnipiac poll released shortly after the debut of the 'Dante' ad found 30 per cent of Democratic primary voters preferred de Blasio, compared with Christine Quinn’s 24 per cent and Bill Thompson’s 22 per cent.

Americans were talking about the candidate’s qualifications, his multiracial family and how Dante was 'rocking the best Afro ever'.

Dante's Afro, which he started growing in the third grade, has spawned legions of fans, a nickname for the campaign’s surge in the polls ('fromentum'), hundreds of mentions on Twitter and a campaign hashtag, #gowiththefro.

'I didn’t know everyone would like it so much,' Dante told New York Post. 'People are constantly stopping me now. Some want photos. Some are just like, ‘Hey, were you in a commercial?' '

Official: Bill de Blasio takes the oath of office administered by US Congressman Jerrold Nadler (left) accompanied by his daughter Chiara (second left), son Dante (center) and wife Chirlane in 2010

Official: Bill de Blasio takes the oath of office administered by US Congressman Jerrold Nadler (left) accompanied by his daughter Chiara (second left), son Dante (center) and wife Chirlane in 2010

Fro on display: Dante DeBlasio and Chiara DeBlasio at the 46th annual West Indian Day Parade in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, this year

Fro on display: Dante DeBlasio and Chiara DeBlasio at the 46th annual West Indian Day Parade in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, this year

But Dante's celebrity-status went through the roof after his locks got a shout-out from the U.S. President in August.

Obama singled out Dante's hair as he introduced de Blasio at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser, noting the presence of 'Dante, who has the same hairdo I had in 1978. Although I have to confess my Afro was never that good.'

Earlier this month, Dante's proud dad told Reddit users during an Ask Me Anything session his son's hair is something to be reckoned with.

'Dante works conscientiously on his hair. Very conscientiously,' he said, according to the Wall Street Journal.

'He does not leave the house in the morning without carefully using his pick to strike a perfect geometric balance. I witnessed with my own eyes the President of the United States evaluating Dante’s Afro up close, and even the president admitted that the Afro of his youth was not as full and perfectly proportioned. So Dante has achieved something spectacular.'

Time to party: Dante's Afro is out at proud at his dad Bill de Blasio's primary night party in September

Time to party: Dante's Afro is out at proud at his dad Bill de Blasio's primary night party in September

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Bill de Blasio pictured in the 1980s with an impressive Afro to rival his son's

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