“My father is Jewish. My mother is Jewish. I am Jewish.”
1 Feb 2013
Edward I. Koch, the outspoken three-term New York mayor who led the biggest U.S. city from the brink of bankruptcy in the late 1970s and boosted the spirits of crime-weary residents, has died. He was 88.
Koch died at 2 a.m. Friday of heart failure at New York-Presbyterian Columbia Hospital, spokesman George Arzt said. Koch had been moved into intensive care Thursday afternoon. The funeral will be held on Monday at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan.
Koch had returned to the hospital on Jan. 28, two days after being released following a week-long stay to treat water in his lungs and legs, the Associated Press reported. Koch also was hospitalized in December for pneumonia and flu and three months earlier for anemia.
Serving from 1978 through 1989, Koch presided over the Wall Street-fueled economic boom of the 1980s, turning a $1 billion budget deficit into a $500 million surplus in five years. He restored the city’s credit, doubled the annual budget to $26 billion and oversaw $19 billion in capital improvements. His subsidized housing plan produced more than 156,000 new and renovated units.
Koch’s in-your-face style, straight talk and catchphrase “How’m I doing?” endeared him to New Yorkers wracked by the lingering fiscal crisis, the Son of Sam serial murders and the arson and looting that erupted after a blackout in July 1977.
Commuters walking across the Brooklyn Bridge during the first day of an 11-day transit strike in 1980 were startled to find the bald, 6-foot-1-inch mayor cheering for them. He called critics “wackos,” welfare advocates “poverty pimps,” told visiting Soviet schoolchildren that their government was “the pits” and said a crack-smoking lawyer accused of killing his daughter should be “boiled in oil.”
It was that style and straight talk that enabled Koch to work both sides of the political aisle and get things done…
The obituary continues at Newsmax.
Related: Ed Koch, Betrayed by Obama
…When [Koch] spoke about Hagel’s nomination to the Algemeiner, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer had not yet decided to back Hagel. Koch decided to apply the pressure: “To me this is a test for Chuck Schumer, where he stands, and what he will say,” he added.
It was a test that Schumer failed–along with much of America’s Jewish establishment, some of whom worship at the feet of the Obama idol and the rest of whom are fearful of his power, with rare exceptions. The only Jewish organization thus far to put up a serious fight against Hagel’s confirmation has been the Republican Jewish Coalition, whose research and media efforts helped produce the strident, united Republican front in the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday and may yet derail what would be a disastrous appointment.
With Koch goes the last Democrat to trust in the commitment of his party to the safety and security of Israel. He will be deeply missed as a leader who understood freedom was worth fighting for, at home and abroad.