The famously-combative former mayor of New York City, Ed Koch, has died of congestive heart failure. He was 88.
Koch, who died at 2 a.m. on Friday, was admitted to NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia hospital on Monday with shortness of breath, and was moved to intensive care on Thursday for closer monitoring of the fluid in his lungs and legs. He had been released two days earlier after being treated for water in his lungs and legs. He had initially been admitted on Jan. 19.
His success in rallying New Yorkers in the face of the strike was, he said, his biggest personal achievement as mayor. And it was a display that was quintessentially Koch, 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.
The lawyer-turned-public servant was a U.S. congressman from 1968 until he ran for mayor of the city in 1977. He served three terms until David Dinkins defeated him in a Democratic primary.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, head of the National Action Network, said on Friday that Koch was "never a phony or a hypocrite. "He would not patronize or deceive you. He said what he meant. ... May he rest in peace."
Mayor Michael Bloomberg added that New York City has lost an irrepressible icon.
"In elected office and as a private citizen, he was our most tireless, fearless, and guileless civic crusader," Bloomberg said. "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."
A funeral service will be held Monday at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan.
(Source: Wire Reports)