Praise and memories of former New York City Mayor Edward Koch are coming from all ranges of the political and community spectrum, including from local political leaders.
Koch died of congestive heart failure in New York City Friday. He was 88. He served three terms as New York's mayor during its great fiscal crisis and at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic.
Here is some of the local reaction to Koch's death:
"New York has lost a great advocate. I greatly valued my friendship with Mayor Ed Koch. Always full of eye-opening insights and his signature humor."
Rep. Peter King, R-Seaford:
"I am terribly saddened by the passing of Mayor Ed Koch. Ed Koch was a true friend and trusted advisor," who "personified the spirit of New York.
"New York’s Mayor For Life is now New York’s Mayor for eternity. May he Rest in Peace."
Assemblyman Charles Lavine, D-Glen Cove:
“I first met then-Manhattan Congressman Ed Koch more than 40 years ago when I interviewed him on Judge Fred Berman's WNYC TV show. Always flinty and not afraid to be provocative, Mayor Koch will be remembered as an outstanding public servant and a quintessential New Yorker. His Honor should also be remembered as having been a Freedom Rider in Birmingham.”
Oyster Bay Supervisor R-North Massapequa:
It is with a great deal of sorrow that I learned of the passing of former New York City Mayor Edward Koch. On behalf of the entire Town of Oyster Bay family of government, my sincere condolences to his family. I will always think of the Mayor as someone who elevated the spirit of New York with his wry and outspoken style.
"He was always quick-witted and forceful when he needed to be. His trademark phrase “How’m I Doing?” will forever be remembered, especially by those of us in public service. I believe, however, that his enduring legacy will be that of an optimistic and effective leader who helped steward his city through crisis and paved the way for a building renaissance. He was one of a kind and the City has lost a true icon. He will be sorely missed.”
Nassau County Legislator Judy Jacobs, D-Woodbury
"My best memory was in 1980. I was a Democratic delegate to the convention and Sid and I were invited with two friends to Gracie mansion, along with other delegates. We were thrilled and Koch asked us to take a picture with him. As the photographer got ready, a woman stood right next to us. Of course, we did not know her.
"Not wasting a second, Koch asked her name. She answered “Sophie” and then he said, “So, Sophie, what makes you think that Judy and Sid and their friends want you in their picture?”
"So, he asked her to move away and promised her a picture at another time. So typical of Koch and really showed the funnier side of him and how sharp he was. It still brings a smile to my face. May he rest in peace."
Do you have personal memories of Ed Koch? Tell us them in the comments: