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Ed Koch was an outspoken attorney, author and media commentator who was the mayor of New York City from 1977 to 1989.
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Edward Koch was born on December 12, 1924, in the Bronx, New York. He served in World War II and worked as a lawyer before entering New York City politics, eventually getting elected to Congress. He won the New York City mayoral election in 1977 and served for three terms. His administration was credited with rescuing the city from the edge of financial ruin while also facing much controversy due partially to racial unrest and rampant governmental corruption. With his mayoral days behind him,
"If you agree with me on nine out of 12 issues, you should vote for me. If you agree with me on 12 out of 12 issues, you should see a psychiatrist."
"It's a lot more fun being a critic than being the one criticized."
"Coming from Greenwich Village, everybody would think 'Ah, you must be a radical.' The truth is I've always been a mainstream, 'Scoop' Jackson kind of Democrat."
the outspoken Koch became a media figure and commentator. He died on February 1, 2013, at age 88.
Edward Irving Koch was born on December 12, 1924, in the Bronx, New York, to Joyce Silpe and Louis Koch, who had immigrated to the U.S. from Poland. During childhood, Edward relocated to Newark, New Jersey with his parents and two siblings; there he would go on to attend South Side High School and, after the family moved to Brooklyn, become a student at City College. Koch was drafted to serve in World War II and stationed in Bavaria for a time before being discharged as a sergeant in 1946. Upon his return to the states, he attended New York University's law school and was admitted into the bar.
Living in Greenwhich Village, Koch worked as an attorney before entering New York City politics as part of the Village Independent Democrats. He made a name for himself defeating Tammany Hall political-machine member Carmine DeSapio in a 1963 district race. Koch moved on to City Council and then served in the House of Representatives from 1969 to 1977.
In 1977, Koch won New York's mayoral election, defeating Abraham D. Beame. New York City was on the verge of fiscal ruin, and the Koch administration administered a number of budget cuts and austerity measures that placed the city back on financial track. Koch's tenure was also known for barring job discrimination due to one's sexuality, creating thousands of housing units, renovating abandoned buildings and creating a style of campaigning that focused on appealing to individual voters. He also encouraged New Yorkers to persevere during a 1980 transit strike, a feat he saw as one of his proudest moments.
Koch won three mayoral terms, with landslide votes in his second and third election wins. Yet his administration faced much controversy. Outspoken and not afraid of confrontation, Koch was known for making barbed, hostile comments that often alienated fellow politicians and much of the general public. The city also underwent a great deal of racial unrest during the '80s, mitigated by what were thought to be racially motivated killings in Bensonhurst and Howard Beach. Soaring homelessness, the AIDS crisis, the drug epidemic and rampant corruption on a municipal level all placed a negative light on the administration.
Koch was defeated in the 1989 Democratic primaries by David N. Dinkins, who went on to become the next mayor. After his final term, Koch returned to working as an attorney and kept very busy in a number of high-profile media positions that included writing columns, doing adjunct professor work, starring in commercial advertising spots and appearing on TV and radio as a commentator.
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