Ed Koch's Greatest Failure

Max Rivlin-Nadler · 02/02/13 10:00AM

When former mayor Ed Koch died early yesterday morning, the accolades were quick to descend: he was a "a great man," who "did good," ebulliently pulling his city out of the worst financial disaster it had ever faced. Still, his incredibly long tenure also coincided with both the crack and AIDS epidemic, the latter of which, activist and documentarian David France writes in a piece for New York, he turned a blind eye to:

15 Photos (and Two Videos) from the Gritty 1980s New York of Ed Koch

Max Read · 02/01/13 04:53PM

Ed Koch, who died this morning at 88, was the the only mayor New York City had during its legendarily gritty 1980s, and while his death comes far too late to be the end of an era, it serves as another reminder of how different the city was during his tenure.

Ed Koch Is Dead

Max Read · 02/01/13 08:40AM

Ed Koch, the former New York City Mayor who took the city back from the financial brink before presiding over its crack epidemic and AIDS crisis, died of congestive heart failure early this morning. He was 88.

Ed Koch Changes Mind, Decides That Obama Doesn't Hate Jews

Jim Newell · 09/27/11 02:35PM

Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch recently endorsed Republican Bob Turner in the special election for Anthony Weiner's old congressional seat, helping him pull off the upset against Democrat Dave Weprin. Koch, who supported Obama in 2008, wanted to punish the Democratic party over "President Obama's open hostility to the State of Israel." But that was all a few weeks ago! He's now changed his mind and endorsed Obama, after being invited to a fancy party.

Happy Birthday

cityfile · 12/11/09 07:04AM

Senator and former presidential candidate John Kerry turns 66 today. Actress, comedian and TV host Mo'Nique is turning 42. Jermaine Jackson is 55. Motley Crew's Nikki Sixx is 51. Montana Senator Max Baucus turns 68 today. Mos Def is turning 36. One-time reality TV star Lisa Gastineau is 50. Bay boy Brit chef Marco Pierre White is 48. And '80s actresses Teri Garr and Donna Mills are turning 65 and 67, respectively. A handful of weekend birthdays are below.

Say Hello to Ed

cityfile · 12/07/09 04:01PM

Ed Koch turns 85 next week (the current mayor is throwing him a birthday party on Wednesday), and he spent six weeks in the hospital over the summer after undergoing open heart surgery. But that hasn't slowed him down much, it seems. The former mayor since returned to his day job, getting up at 6:30am so he can make it to his law office by 8:30; and he's also resumed his career as a restaurant and movie critic. Koch has also returned to responding to every single email message he receives, according to the Daily News. If you'd like to test the former mayor on that—or simply send him birthday wishes— you can do so here. [NYDN]

Ernie Anastos Will Live On Forever

cityfile · 09/18/09 01:02PM

It's only been a couple of days since he uttered the now-famous expression, but Ernie Anastos' screw-up on TV the other night already stands as his greatest legacy. The numerous clips of the moment have collectively racked up close to a million views on YouTube thus far (and that doesn't include all the parodies and remixes); Jon Stewart suggested last night that he might adopt it as his sign-off; and, in typical fashion, you can now find it stamped on t-shirts and mousepads. Is the G-rated version—"keep plucking that chicken"—destined to become a quintessential New York catchphrase? (Or a really annoying thing that you're going to hear endlessly repeated for the next few months?) The Times dialed up former mayor Ed Koch, since he was responsible for coining the expression "How'm I doin'?" in 1969. "It has a nice sound to it," he said. "It could become a phrase that people could use." [NYT]

Ivanka Sets a Date; Mary-Kate Olsen Lets Loose

cityfile · 09/10/09 05:54AM

Ivanka Trump has a set a date for her wedding to real estate scion Jared Kushner. It will go down on October 25 at—where else?—the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, NJ. Mark your calendars! [P6]
• Emma Watson is doing her best to "blend in" now that she's a freshman at Brown. Which is a little hard to do when you have the paparazzi tracking your every move on campus, clearly. [NYDN]
• The Olsen twins will be bartending this evening at Barneys as part of the festivities planned for Fashion's Night Out. So Mary-Kate must have just been training the other night when she was spotted "chain-smoking and throwing back shots." [P6]
• Ellen DeGeneres has been tapped to replace Paula Abdul as a judge on the ninth season of American Idol. [E!]

Ed Koch Is Recovering Nicely

cityfile · 07/28/09 09:26AM

Former Mayor Ed Koch returned home Sunday after spending six weeks in the hospital, where he had a heart valve replaced and his gallbladder removed. And while his medical troubles have left him weak and looking a bit gaunt, he says he can now eat whatever he wants (Peking duck, ice cream), and is planning to return to his various media-related gigs (Bloomberg Radio, NY1) shortly. But it's especially nice that his tendency to speak his mind was not affected by his recent illnesses. On the subject of those elected officials in New Jersey who were implicated in that big corruption scandal last week: "I hope that those who are found guilty are hung by the thumb." Welcome home, Mr. Mayor. [NYDN]

Koch Goes Under the Knife

cityfile · 06/19/09 10:04AM

Ed Koch is having surgery today at Columbia-Presbyterian to replace a heart valve. Dr. Craig Smith, the same top doc who handled Bill Clinton's bypass a few years ago, will be performing the honors. (Smith is also NYC's hunkiest cardiac surgeon, a fact that probably didn't escape Koch's attention.) And while a valve replacement is a pretty uncomplicated procedure, the 84-year-old ex-mayor appears to be prepared for all the eventualities: "God will take me if he needs legal or political advice," he quipped to a reporter. [NY1, NYP]

Koch Hospitalized

cityfile · 06/17/09 05:51AM

Ed Koch is in the hospital and will undergo heart surgery over the next few days. It's nothing too serious: He's scheduled to have an aortic valve replaced and reports that he's in good spirits. The former mayor also says the food at Columbia-Presbyterian is pretty tasty, just in case you have a medical emergency in the near future and you want to factor that bit of info into the decision about which local hospital to go to. [NY1, NYP]

Happy Birthday, Ed Koch!

Richard Lawson · 12/12/08 06:00PM

It's the former New York City mayor's 84th bday today! So here he is, warbling away in an animated short that won an Oscar in 1983.