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Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch is dead at 88

by Phantom Ace ( 10 Comments › )
Filed under Breaking News, Democratic Party, Special Report at February 1st, 2013 - 9:36 am

Former NY Mayor Ed Koch has died of heart failure at 88.

Former Mayor Ed Koch, the combative, acid-tongued politician who rescued the city from near-financial ruin during a three-term City Hall run in which he embodied New York chutzpah for the rest of the world, died Friday. He was 88.

Koch died at 2 a.m., spokesman George Arzt said. The funeral will be Monday at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan.

After leaving City Hall in January 1990, Koch battled assorted health problems and heart disease.

The larger-than-life Koch, who breezed through the streets of New York flashing his signature thumbs-up sign, won a national reputation with his feisty style. “How’m I doing?” was his trademark question to constituents, although the answer mattered little to Koch. The mayor always thought he was doing wonderfully.

Bald and bombastic, paunchy and pretentious, the city’s 105th mayor was quick with a friendly quip and equally fast with a cutting remark for his political enemies.

“You punch me, I punch back,” Koch once memorably observed. “I do not believe it’s good for one’s self-respect to be a punching bag.”


When President George W. Bush ran for re-election in 2004, Koch, a Democrat, crossed party lines to support him and spoke at the GOP convention. He also endorsed Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s re-election efforts at a time when Bloomberg was a Republican. Koch described himself as “a liberal with sanity.”


“He was fiercely proud of his Jewish faith. He fiercely defended the City of New York, and he fiercely loved its people. Above all, he loved his country, the United States of America, in whose armed forces he served in World War II.”

With him goes one of the last decent Democrats. May he rest in peace.

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10 Responses to “Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch is dead at 88”
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  1. 1 | February 1, 2013 10:54 am

    Koch was a character who seemed to have been born to be Mayor of New York. He was a good man who said what he felt, not what the current Democrat talking point happened to be, and was an unshakable and vocal supporter of Israel. He was clearly an intellectual but he spoke the language of the common man, who constantly asked “how am I doing?” and genuinely wanted an answer. Well, Mr. Mayor, you done good, RIP.

  2. 2 | February 1, 2013 10:58 am

    Koch’s tombstone is inscribed with the last words of Daniel Pearl:
    “My father was Jewish. My mother was Jewish. I am Jewish.”

    RIP Mr. Mayor. I didn’t always agree with you. But I always liked you.

  3. Speranza
    3 | February 1, 2013 11:01 am

    Although not as good as Rudy, he was a pretty good mayor.

  4. Speranza
    4 | February 1, 2013 11:16 am

    Koch had already designed his own tombstone, and had chosen for his epitaph the final words spoken by Daniel Pearl, the journalist slaughtered by Al Qaeda: “My father is Jewish. My mother is Jewish. I am Jewish.”

  5. 5 | February 1, 2013 11:41 am

    @ Speranza:

    ZIP has a photo of it up at his site.

  6. mtc
    6 | February 1, 2013 3:20 pm

    I really liked Koch. I could never understand why blacks didn’t like him. After all, he participated in the civil rights movement .

  7. 7 | February 1, 2013 6:48 pm

    RIP, Mr. Mayor.

  8. 4_Sticks
    8 | February 1, 2013 10:38 pm

    “Koch described himself as “a liberal with sanity.”

    One of the last …

    I didn’t agree with his politics but he fought for this country and his city – I always respected him for that. He was one lib I listened to so as to try and understand the other side.

    RIP Mr. Mayor Koch.

  9. 9 | February 1, 2013 10:53 pm

    RIP Mayor Koch. He was a good man and a Patriot.

  10. 10 | February 4, 2013 3:15 pm

    Rodan! I read in the Free Republic that Ron Paul (Ron not Rand) said of sniper Kyle’s death that he who lives by the sword dies by the sword. What the f… (read without the ellipses) is Ron Paul doing? He is wrecking his son, Rand Paul’s chances. Rand Paul needs to get on top of his father’s comments. I don’t think the son should disown the father for this sick antiwar comment, but Rand Paul needs to get on top of this immediately, expressing his disapproval of his father’s remarks.

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