Ed Koch, 1924–2013

You loved him.  You hated him.

You some­times felt both of those feel­ings at the same time towards the man.

There was only one Ed Koch.

Politi­cos remem­bered for­mer New York City Mayor Ed Koch, 88, who died Fri­day from con­ges­tive heart fail­ure, and reached out to share their mem­o­ries across social media platforms.

The for­mer three-term mayor was largely respon­si­ble for sav­ing the city from finan­cial peril dur­ing his tenure from 1979 until 1989.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered that all flags on New York City’s build­ings be flown at half-staff and called Koch the city’s “most charis­matic cheer­leader and champion.”

Ear­lier today, New York City lost an irre­press­ible icon, our most charis­matic cheer­leader and cham­pion, Edward I. Koch. He was a great mayor, a great man, and a great friend,” Bloomberg said in a pub­lic state­ment. “In elected office and as a pri­vate cit­i­zen, he was our most tire­less, fear­less, and guile­less civic crusader.”

Bloomberg con­tin­ued: “Through his tough, deter­mined lead­er­ship and respon­si­ble fis­cal stew­ard­ship, Ed helped lift the city out of its dark­est days and set it on course for an incred­i­ble come­back. We will miss him dearly, but his good works – and his wit and wis­dom – will for­ever be a part of the city he loved so much.”

Bloomberg said that he wasn’t just speak­ing on behalf of him­self but for all New York­ers in say­ing that Koch will be deeply missed.

His spirit will live on not only here at City Hall, and not only on the bridge the bears his name, but all across the five bor­oughs. I’m express­ing my con­do­lences on behalf of all 8.4 mil­lion New York­ers, and I know so many of them will be keep­ing Mayor Koch and his fam­ily and friends in their thoughts prayers,” Bloomberg said in the statement.

Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) echoed Bloomberg’s sen­ti­ments, call­ing Koch a “true friend and trusted advisor.”

Koch was many things, even at one time serv­ing as the replace­ment judge on “The People’s Court” for a few years.  Mostly though, he always came off to me as the con­science of New York City.

He was a social lib­eral, a hard­line con­ser­v­a­tive against crime, and a tough line on fis­cal mat­ters.  It is pos­si­ble to say that with­out Koch there would be no Rudy Giuliani.

Rest in Peace.

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