Friday, February 21, 2014

Edward Irving Koch

Edward Irving Koch

December 12, 1924 – February 1, 2013
My father is Jewish,
My mother is Jewish, I am Jewish.
A proud Jew, a loving New Yorker
And a patriotic American.

Born in The Bronx, New York City, New York
Son of Yetta and Louis Koch, immigrants from Eastern Galicia.
Alma mater: City University of New York; New York University
Mayor of NYC
He was fiercely proud of his Jewish faith.
He defended the City of New York and its people.
He loved his country, the United States of America, in whose armed forces he served in World War II.
He played the violin since childhood.
He grew a beard in his final days.
United States Army as a Sergeant from 1943-194 6 – 104th Infantry Division
He denounced the state of Israel for its massacres of children.
Buried in a Catholic cemetery
The date of birth on his tombstone was engraved with the wrong birth date.
105th Mayor of New York City
First New York mayor to win endorsement on both the Democratic and Republican party tickets
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from NY 18th district
Lifelong Democrat who described himself as a "liberal with sanity"
Author of an ambitious public housing renewal program in his later years as mayor
No children and no publicly acknowledged romantic relationships, but declared his heterosexuality after his retirement.
Big supporter of Israel
He was a radio show host, author, and political gadfly in political retirement.
Wrote a children’s book with his sister, Pat.  The book EDDIE, HAROLD’S LITTLE BROTHER told the story of his childhood and his brother, Harold who had baseball talents.  It was not a success.
The NY City Council renamed the Queensboro Bridge the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge.
A documentary about the life of Ed Koch had its world premiere the day of his death.
Known for his quips and one liners.  My favorites were:
 "The people have spoken...and they must be punished.
"I'm the sort of person who will never get ulcers. Why?  Because I say exactly what I think. I'm the sort of person who might give other people ulcers.
"If you agree with me on nine out of 12 issues, vote for me. If you agree with me on 12 out of 12 issues, see a psychiatrist.
Koch, Edward I. (1980). The Mandate Millstone. US Conference of Mayors
How'm I doing? The wit and wisdom of Ed Koch. William; Koch, Ed (1984)
Rauch, William; Koch, Ed (1985). Politics
Koch, Ed; O'Connor, John Joseph (1989). His Eminence and Hizzoner: a candid exchange. Morrow
Jones, Leland T.; Koch, Ed (1990). All the best: letters from a feisty mayor.
Paisner, Daniel; Koch, Ed (1992). Citizen Koch: an autobiography
Koch, Ed (1994). Ed Koch on Everything: Movies, Politics, Personalities, Food, and Other Stuff.
Resnicow, Herbert; Koch, Ed (1995). Murder at city hall. New York: Kensington Books.  Koch, Edward I. (1997). Murder on Broadway. New York: Kensington
Koch, Ed (1997). Murder on 34th Street. New York: Kensington.
Koch, Ed (1998). The Senator Must Die. New York: Kensington.
Koch, Ed (1999). Giuliani: Nasty Man. New York: Barricade Books
Graham, Stephen; Koch, Ed (1999). New York: A State of Mind (Urban Tapestry Series). Paisner, Daniel; Koch, Ed (2000). I'm not done yet!: keeping at it, remaining relevant, and having the time of my life. New York: William Morrow.
Warhola, James; Thaler, Pat Koch; Koch, Ed; Koch, Edward D. (2004). Eddie: Harold's little brother. New York: G. P. Putnam's sons.
Heady, Christy; Koch, Edward D.; Koch, Ed (2007). Buzz: how to create it and win with it. New York, N.Y: American Management Association
Ed Koch died in February from congestive heart failure at the age of 88. He was buried at Trinity Church in Washington Heights at a plot he bought back in 2008 because, as he told reporters, "the idea of leaving Manhattan permanently irritates me."
Favorite Quotes
You punch me, I punch back. I do not believe it's good for one's self-respect to be a punching bag.

I have said many times:
 To be a New Yorker you have to live here for six months, and if at the end of the six months you find you walk faster, talk faster, think faster, you're a New Yorker.

I know many writers who first dictate passages, then polish what they have dictated. I speak, then I polish - occasionally I do windows.
The fireworks begin today. Each diploma is a lighted match. Each one of you is a fuse.
God gave me a very good hand to play over my 88 years. I have no regrets.

The best way to lose weight is to close your mouth - something very difficult for a politician. Or watch your food - just watch it, don't eat it.

It's a lot more fun being a critic than being the one criticized.

No, I am not a homosexual. If I were a homosexual, I would hope I would have the courage to say so. What's cruel is that you are forcing me to say I am not a homosexual. This means you are putting homosexuals down. I don't want to do that.

We're in the hands of the state legislature and God, but at the moment, the state legislature has more to say than God.

Water, water, everywhere, Atlantic and Pacific. But New York City's got them beat, Our aqua is terrific!

Have you ever lived in the suburbs? It's sterile. It's nothing. It's wasting your life.

I was born at the age of twelve on a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lot.

Citizens, thank you for all your birthday wishes. I am 88 years old today and still lucky to live in the greatest city in the world.

Have you ever lived in the suburbs? It's sterile. It's nothing. It's wasting your life.

I was born eight years after Ed Koch.  He was a household name.  Even though as a family we did not live in NYC but for some reason the neighborhood where I grew up in Michigan he was a subject of conversation on a regular basis.  My aunts and uncles really liked and admired him.
Did I like him or do I like him?  A big YES with an exclamation mark.

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