Tag Archives: Ed Koch dies

One of the greatest mayors ever


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

BY PETER VALLONE SR.

I served with Mayor Ed Koch for 12 years, the last four from 1986 through 1989, while I was the newly-elected head of the City Council, soon to be empowered as a truly independent legislative branch of government with the coming elimination of the unconstitutional Board of Estimate.

He and I became very close friends because the city was in deep trouble fiscally, there was a notable absence of cops, the subways were unsafe, and the city needed a cheerleader to lift its sagging spirits, as well as a government that worked and gave hope for the future.

Ed Koch was the right person. We worked together to fashion the most significant landmark legislation in any four year period in the history of the city. The first Clean Air Act in the country, preventing people from being forced to inhale smoke from others, dividing restaurants and all public places accordingly; the first Campaign Finance Law ensuring a level playing field to anyone aspiring to run for office; the first so-called Gay Rights Bill preventing discrimination by reason of sexual orientation; the first and biggest housing plan providing for hundreds of thousands of affordable units to be built over the next four years, and a homeless policy to break up homeless shelters and provide homes wherever possible, just to name a few.

The best way to remember Ed Koch is in his own words. I was present with him on many occasions when he told a large audience mad at something or other he said or did, he would say: “Look, if I were a baseball player and got a hit only three times out of every 10 I batted, I would be a pretty good player, wouldn’t I? So if you agree with me three out of 10 times, I’m doing pretty good as mayor, too. But if I got a hit 7seven of 10 times, I would be the greatest player ever, right? Now most of you here agree with me 7 out of 10 times, so I must be the greatest mayor ever! On the other hand, if you agree with me 10 out of 10, you must be crazy!”

Many still think Ed Koch was single. That’s not true. He was married to this city, and loved it with a passion and devotion from beginning to end. I told him many times he could be one of the greatest stand-up comedians if he chose to, as well as being one of the greatest mayors ever.

Perhaps the best tribute you could say about any person is that when you mention his name, a smile comes to your face, and that is how I will always remember my dear friend, Ed Koch. My only hope is that he will enjoy and love Heaven as much as he loved this city.

Peter F. Vallone is former Speaker of the NYC Council

 

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Street Talk: What do you think Mayor Ed Koch’s legacy will be?


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Street Talk Ed Koch

BY ANTHONTY O’REILLY & ADJANI SHAH

I loved him; he was very straightforward. Overall his legacy will go on for a while…he knew where he stood.
Dennis DeBorger

I remember when he was mayor. He was a very good mayor, one of the best ones. The city was broke; I remember when he bought us out of that.
Elias Hernandez

He’s the best mayor we ever had in my time. He stood up to anybody and everybody; he’d tell you what he felt. He did what was best for New York.
Richard Murphy


He was honest. He said everything that had to be said and said it the
way it was. He wasn’t political in that sense.
Claire Pipolo

He had warmth toward people. He had a great sense of humor and he was
loved by the people. One of the greatest mayors of all time.
Anne Pipolo

He seemed like a pretty good guy; he helped the city in a financial crisis.
Joost Burgers

I thought he was terrific; he was full of life. His enthusiasm impacted how we viewed the city.
Joan Rosenberg

He was the quintessential New Yorker; he loved being the mayor. He was direct and honest and he was one of our greatest mayors.
Fred Warshaw

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Overcast with a chance of snow. High of 32 with a windchill as low as 16. Windy. Winds from the WNW at 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 35 mph. Chance of snow 20%. Friday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 23 with a windchill as low as 16F. Breezy. Winds from the WNW at 15 to 20 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY:  NYC Black History Month 5 Boro Tour

Celebrate Black History Month by visiting the African Burial Ground National Monument, Langston Hughes Community Library & Cultural Center, Louis Armstrong House Museum, MoCADA, National Jazz Museum, Sandy Ground Historical Society Museum, Schomburg Center, Weeksville Heritage Center and the Woodlawn Conservancy. This 5 Boro Tour is self-guided, and hours vary by venue. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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Ed Koch, former NYC mayor, dies at 88


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photo: NYC Mayor's Office Flickr/ Edward Reed

Ed Koch, the three term New York City mayor known his larger than life personality and penchant for the big and small screen, died early Friday morning after months of health complications. He was 88.

The official cause of death was congestive heart failure, his spokesperson, George Arzt told the New York Times.

Koch had been in and out of the hospital since September for different respiratory problems: one stay in September, one in December and two trips throughout January.

A spokesperson announced on Thursday, January 31 that Koch had been placed in the intensive care unit at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

Edward Irving Koch was born on December 12, 1924 in the Bronx and grew up in Newark. He served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1946, fought in World War II and rose to the rank of sergeant.

Koch was elected mayor in 1977 after serving in Congress since 1969 where he represented parts of the Bronx. He went on to win elections in 1981 and 1985, but Manhattan Borough President David Dinkins ousted Koch in a 1989 Democratic primary.

In the 20-plus years since leaving City Hall, Koch has still been active in New York City life. He has spent years as a “NY1” wise guy, where he would weigh in on issues concerning the city. He also made a slew of cameo appearances in films and wrote his own film review column that was widely circulated.

From 1997 to 1999, he presided over The People’s Court, a syndicated torts court show. In total, Koch appeared in 80 movies and TV shows, most of which were as himself. He made a cameo appearance as a newscaster in the 1996 film “City Hall,” which was inspired by the corruption charges against late Borough President Donald Manes. Koch was mayor when Manes faced corruption charges and ultimately ended his own life.

Bloomberg announced in 2010 that the 59th Street Bridge would be named after Koch. The change was met with criticism by some for naming a landmark after a living, active person.

His legacy will also live on through film. Earlier this week a documentary on the former mayor, “Koch,” debuted at the Museum of Modern Art.

On Friday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered that flags at all city buildings be flown at half-staff in Koch’s memory.

A funeral service will be held Monday at 11 a.m. at Temple Emanu-El on the Upper West Side, according to the Daily News.


The trailer for “Koch,”  a documentary on the former mayor.

 

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