Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch Dead At 88

Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch died early Friday morning. He was 88. A Bronx native, Koch was sworn in as mayor in 1978, Koch was credited with lifting New York from crushing economic crises to a level of prosperity that was the envy of other U.S. cities. Under his leadership, the city regained its financial footing and underwent a building renaissance. After leaving office, Koch wrote articles on everything from Middle East politics to movie reviews, hosted a radio show and served as a judge on television's "“The People's Court." His book about another former New York City mayor, Rudy Giuliani, was titled "Giuliani: Nasty Man." He remained a formidable figure in New York politics until his death, endorsing candidates and offering political commentary on the local NY1 TV station.

In 2008, Koch announced he had secured a plot in Manhattan's Trinity Cemetery, telling the New York Times: "The idea of leaving Manhattan permanently irritates me."

In 1983, Ed Koch became the first mayor to host Saturday Night Live, appearing on stage with a copy of the New York Times and asking the audience, "How am I doing? You don't really have to answer that. A better question might be 'What am I doing here?' As you can see in the video below, Koch wasn't exactly a natural. But he did know how to work a liberal Reagan-era crowd, taking the opportunity to call the president a "wacko" on national TV:


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