A former New York City mayor who was one of the most colorful in the city’s history has died. The New York Times reports that Ed Koch, who led New York for three terms as its mayor and later served as a television judge and radio talk-show host, died Friday morning at 88.
Koch had been treated at New York-Presbyterian Columbia Hospital. He died from congestive heart failure at 2 a.m., the piece reports.
"Ebullient, flitting from broadcast studios to luncheon meetings and speaking engagements, popping up at show openings and news conferences, wherever the microphones were live and the cameras rolling, Mr. Koch, in his life after politics, seemed for all the world like the old campaigner, running flat out," The Times notes.
Recent illness slowed him down, however, forcing him to miss the premiere of a documentary biographical film called "Koch" that opened Friday.
Koch’s 12 years as mayor spanned the city’s fiscal crisis of the 1970s through the scandals of the 1980s, the piece says, describing it as "an era of almost continuous discord."
“I’m the sort of person who will never get ulcers,” Koch told reporters on his inauguration day in 1978. "Why? Because I say exactly what I think. I’m the sort of person who might give other people ulcers.”
Koch was known for his phrase, "How’m I doin’?" and, according to historians and political experts, received mixed-to-good reviews, the article says.
He served in the House of Representatives from 1969 to 1977 before his stint as New York mayor from 1978 to 1989.
After leaving office, he made regular appearances on WCBS-TV, hosted talk shows on Fox Television and on WNEW-TV and WABC Radio and frequently appeared as a commentator on the New York cable station NY1, the story says. He appeared as a judge on “The People’s Court” from 1997-1999.
"It’s a lot more fun being a critic than being the one criticized," he said about his years out of office, the piece adds.