Former Mayor Ed Koch and Governor Andrew Cuomo have a long and colorful history, stretching all the way back to Mr. Koch’s initial mayoral election against Mario Cuomo, the current governor’s father, in a hotly-contested, occasionally bitter 1977 race that Mr. Koch ultimately won. Although Mr. Koch continued to tweak the younger Cuomo for years after–calling him a “schmuck” in his latest documentary, for example–the two became political allies on a number of issues during Mr. Cuomo’s political career and governorship. Earlier today, Mr. Cuomo described his final words with the late Mr. Koch and the inspiration he received from them.
“I talked to the mayor two days ago. He’s in the hospital. …. I said to him, ‘Mister Mayor, how are you feeling?’ [He replied,] ‘Stronger every day. Stronger every day.’” Mr. Cuomo recalled in a radio interview with New York Post columnist Fred Dicker. “To me, that’s the essence of Ed Koch. Stronger every day. Tomorrow’s going to be better. Optimism. Look forward. Don’t look back. You think the situation is bleak? Nah, we’re going to conquer. We’re going to win. We’re going to be better. Stronger every day. Now, he had to know where he was, right? ‘Stronger every day.’ How beautiful is that?”
how he did
At 2 a.m. this morning, former Mayor Ed Koch passed away due to congestive heart failure. He was 88, outspoken, and if you listen to some of New York City’s leading political figures, “an irrepressible icon,” “larger than life” and “part of the fabric of New York.”
“I’m expressing my condolences on behalf of all 8.4 million New Yorkers, and I know so many of them will be keeping Mayor Koch and his family and friends in their thoughts prayers,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced in a statement. “As we mourn Mayor Koch’s passing, the flags at all City buildings will be flying at half-staff in his memory.”
Mr. Bloomberg further reflected on the meaning of Mr. Koch’s passing and the footprint on the city the former mayor leaves behind.
How He's Doing
Earlier this afternoon, former Mayor Ed Koch was placed in the intensive care unit at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, his spokesman George Arzt announced.
“Dr. Joseph Tenenbaum, Mayor Koch’s cardiologist and lead doctor, said he wanted to monitor the former mayor more closely,” Mr. Arzt said in a statement.
How's He Doing?
When former Mayor Ed Koch went to the hospital earlier this month after suffering a buildup of fluid in his lungs and ankles due to congestive heart disease, he was out after eight days. Mr. Koch returned to New York Presbyterian on Monday and, according to his spokesman George Arzt, though the mayor’s condition has improved, this latest trip to the hospital may be a longer one.
Editor’s Note: Ed Koch, former mayor of New York City, has died. The New York Observer’s interview last week with the three-term mayor was among the last granted by Koch. It’s accompanied by photography that captured the over-sized spirit of a mayor who is credited with delivering New York from some of its darkest days.
Edward Koch, the outspoken 88-year-old ex-mayor, is in the hospital for the third time in the past five months, but he’s also in the place where he’s happiest—back in the spotlight. A new documentary, Koch, which tells the tale of his three terms in City Hall and his life after politics, arrives in theaters on Feb. 1.
Late last week, before swelling flared up in his ankles and fluid was found in his lungs again, Mr. Koch could be found in his Midtown office, surrounded by pictures from his days in city government, photos of his sister’s grandchildren—the closest thing the longtime bachelor has to a brood of his own—and other memorabilia. Though he has spent the past decade staying engaged in the political conversation by penning the occasional editorial, offering up endorsements and making regular appearances on NY1, Mr. Koch seemed well aware that health might soon force him to step back from the main stage. But on this day, he was as voluble as ever.
Standing before a Red Cross in Washington D.C. earlier this afternoon, President Barack Obama praised response efforts in the face of Hurricane Sandy, singling out New York in particular.
“This storm is not yet over,” Mr. Obama said to begin his address, labeling the hardship faced by the country as “extraordinary,” adding, “Obviously this is something that is heartbreaking for the entire nation.” According to the White House pool report, the president went on to say his “most important message” to those recovering from the storm’s devastating aftermath was, “America is with you.”
Congressman Charlie Rangel is back in the hospital for the second time this month. Mr. Rangel’s spokeswoman, Hannah Kim, told The Politicker the congressman is still coping with a back injury that has kept him out of the House of Representatives since February 9, his longest absence in at least ten years.
“The Congressman is receiving additional treatments for his back. He is optimistic that the situation will be resolved soon,” Ms. Kim said.
After being forced off the campaign trail for at least the past two weeks, Councilman Lew Fidler appears to be actively competing in the special election for Carl Kruger’s old State Senate seat again.
“It’s 1,000 percent full steam ahead,” Mr. Fidler told Brooklyn Daily, which first reported the news. Calling the extended stay in the hospital “a temporary setback,” he further vowed to “beat the pants off of” his Republican opponent, attorney David Storobin.