Longtime New York City mayor Ed Koch died of congestive heart failure this morning at New York-Presbyterian Columbia Hospital. He was 88.
Koch served as the city's lively and sometimes controversial mayor from 1978 to 1989. Before that, he spent 8 years as a U.S. Congressman. In 1982, Koch had a failed run for governor and was beaten by Mario Cuomo, in what was a contentious Democratic primary race.
Here's an excerpt from Koch's obituary today in the New York Times:
By the usual standards of measuring a former mayor’s legacy — the city he inherited, the challenges he faced, the resources available to meet those challenges and the extent to which his work endured beyond his term — historians and political experts generally give Mr. Koch mixed-to-good reviews.
Most important, he is credited with leading the city government back from near bankruptcy in the 1970sto prosperity in the 1980s. He also began one of the city’s most ambitious housing programs, which continued after he left office and eventually built or rehabilitated more than 200,000 housing units, revitalizing once-forlorn neighborhoods.
Our last interview with him was in 2011: