Early Friday morning, former Mayor Edward I. Koch died following a series of hospitalizations. Koch was the mayor of New York for three consecutive terms, from 1978 to 1989. He served on the New York City Council and as a representative for the 17th and 18th Congressional Districts. Koch was graduated from City College and went on to earn a law degree from New York University School of Law.
His tenure as mayor was marked by major accomplishments, including rescuing the city from bankruptcy, cleaning up and rebuilding Times Square, major rebuilding of the South Bronx, preserving the social safety net and keeping taxes reasonably affordable.
Many remember Mayor Koch at his best while marching in the traditional St. Patrick’s Day Parade, very often dressed in a green sweater. He got along famously with the late John Cardinal O’Connor of New York. In March, 2011, the City Council voted to rename the Queensboro Bridge the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge. Koch was a frequent guest on television programs moderated by Charlie Rose.
Late in 2011, Mayors Koch, Dinkins and Bloomberg attended a breakfast held by the Association for a Better New York. Speaking extemporaneously, Koch declared, ” There’s something wrong with a kid who steals a bike going to jail and someone who steals millions paying a fine.” The crowd roared. Koch was best known for stopping people on the street and asking them, “How am I doing?” Invariably, the answer was, “Fine!”
His wit and considerable intellect will be missed by all New Yorkers.