The brash, colorful and often-confrontational mayor helped lead New York City out of its brush with bankruptcy to become one of the city's most beloved political figures ever.
Ed Koch was recently re-admitted to the hospital after being treated for water in his lungs, according to a report by The Associated Press. A spokesman confirmed the news of Koch's death early this morning. He was 88.
Koch battled pneumonia in December and was being treated with antibiotics, and he was hospitalized and treated for anemia in September.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who released a statement this morning, said, "He was a great mayor, a great man, and a great friend. In elected office and as a private citizen, he was our most tireless, fearless, and guileless civic crusader. Through his tough, determined leadership and responsible fiscal stewardship, Ed helped lift the city out of its darkest days and set it on course for an incredible comeback. We will miss him dearly."
Mayor Ed Koch took office Jan 1, 1978, with New York City all but broke. Thousands of cops, fireman, sanitation workers and teachers had been laid off. Bridges were crumbling, the subways were caked in grime and graffiti (as evident in the film Style Wars, and crime was taking off.
Koch helped restore the city's credit with budget cuts, and he revived the city's spirits with his unflagging enthusiasm for all things New York, and an unflinching willingness to stand up to opponents.
Props: The Daily Beast