RIP, Ed Koch

Dead at 88.

75 replies
  1. 1

    Karl Frisch is saying too bad that Koch’s obit won’t discuss his homosexuality. I had no idea (not that it was any of my business anyway!) – just surprised to learn it. RIP Mayor

  2. 2

    I guess that answers the question of how he’s doing.

  3. 3
    Yutsano says:

    @Mystical Chick: I thought he was married. Not that it keeps him from fancying gents mind you.

  4. 4
  5. 5
    pamelabrown53 says:

    Read an Ed Koch quote at p.m. carpenter’s blog which I’ll share: “If you agree with me on 9 out of 12 issues, vote for me. If you agree with me on 12 out of 12 issues, see a psychiatrist”.

    RIP, Ed Koch, though in your later years you seemed to be John McCain’s democratic counterpart yelling at clouds to get off your lawn.

  6. 6
    kindness says:

    I liked Ed until he backed Dubya in 2004. After that he reminded me more of Donald Trump.

  7. 7
    Earnest Citizen says:

    Good riddance.

  8. 8
    Poopyman says:

    @PeakVT: Playgirl gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse?

  9. 9
    Doug Galt says:

    Always hated him.

  10. 10
    Poopyman says:

    So, are they going to put “How am I doin’?” on his headstone?

  11. 11
    JGabriel says:

    OT, but:

    The geniuses at NRO have decided to attack President Obama for characterizing Nazism and the Holocaust as “senseless violence”.

    Yes, really.

    Eliana Johnson @ National Review Online via DKOS:

    Nazism may have been an ideology to which the United States was — and to which the president is — implacably opposed, but it is hardly “senseless.”

    I’ve always thought Conservatives and Republicans were the kind of people who thought the Nazis made a lot of sense, but I never expected them to confirm it in print.

    Edited to add: The comments to that NRO post are hilarious.


  12. 12
    Hal says:

    I thought Koch was openly gay personally, but was never quizzed about it by the press. If he was, I’m guessing he didn’t go running out of the interview like Illinois himbo Aaron Schock. I wonder if we’ll her from his partner, or will he be shuffled to the back of the room?

    I wasn’t aware he was doing so poorly health wise. The last I had heard from him, he was on NPR basically saying Obama had better be more pro-Israel or he might lose the Jewish vote, which of course turned out to be complete bullshit.

  13. 13
    lamh35 says:

    @PeakVT: Governorship > Senatorship!?

  14. 14
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Yutsano: Koch was never married. It led to rumors for many years. When he left Gracie Mansion, he didn’t move back to the small, rent-controlled apartment on Waverly Place, he moved into a large Co-Op across from Washington Square Park. He also began living out, without making an announcement about it.

  15. 15
    raven says:

    Didn’t matter if he was gay in the Hurtgen Forest.

  16. 16
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Doug Galt: I had the opportunity to shake his hand and tell him that, when he was running for Governor and hanging out at subway station entrances. He seemed to take it in stride, which I chalked up in the plus column.

  17. 17
    PurpleGirl says:

    @pamelabrown53: Not seemed to be, was the Democratic counterpart.

  18. 18

    Koch had this rare quality that even people who hated him liked him. RIP

    PS – PeakVT wins the thread!

  19. 19
    burnspbesq says:

    @Doug Galt:

    Always hated him.


  20. 20
    Hal says:


    We should also note the death of Scott Brown’s Senate career.

    I was watching MSNBC the other day and Steve Kornacki insisted Brown was days away from announcing his run. Hopefully some of the diarist at dailykos can take a breather now, but I’m wondering if Bill Weld isn’t going to give it a go. Brown has his eyes on the Governorship, and would have faced re-election in 2014 as a Senator, if he won.

    It will be interesting to see how he contrasts himself to a very popular Democratic Governor in a state doing very well fiscally.

  21. 21
    Suffern ACE says:

    Vote for cuomo, not the homo – yeah the rumours were there and he gave evasive enough answers about it that theres no point in doing the expose in the obituary.

    There’s a documentary on his life coming out to theaters in a few weeks that looked pretty good when I saw the preview last weekend.

  22. 22
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Hal: Isn’t Weld pretty old?

  23. 23
    PeakVT says:

    @lamh35: Mass elects Republican governors a lot more often than Republican Senators, so Brown probably made a good decision.

  24. 24
    Doug Galt says:


    Annoying, dim-witted self-promoter a la Al D’Amato.

    The ego of Giuliani, the charisma of Bloomberg, and less competent than either.

  25. 25
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @burnspbesq: Can’t speak for Doug, obviously, but for me it was largely about his manipulative, illogical, bad-faith arguments in favor of the death penalty.

  26. 26
    burnspbesq says:


    If Koch was in fact gay, that puts the slow and inadequate response of NYC institutions to the onset of the AIDS epidemic in a vastly different perspective.

  27. 27
    Doug Galt says:

    After leaving office, Koch frequently endorsed prominent Republican candidates, including Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg for Mayor, Al D’Amato for U.S. Senate, Peter T. King for U.S. House, George Pataki for Governor, and, in 2004, George W. Bush for President of the United States

    Just another neocon douche.

    He can rot in hell with Peter King, Al D’Amato, and Rudy G.

  28. 28
    burnspbesq says:

    @Doug Galt:

    You still haven’t convinced me that any of the alternatives that were available at the time (Percy Sutton, Bella Abzug) wouldn’t have been even worse.

  29. 29
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Doug Galt: The Times obit says “he was a feisty, slippery egoist who could not be pinned down by questioners and who could outtalk anybody in the authentic voice of New York.” That seems to be intended as a compliment.

  30. 30
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Hal: For the past year or so, he was in and out of the hospital frequently. For several years he had health issues, mostly heart and lung.

  31. 31
    'Niques says:

    When I first read the post title, I thought it was referring to one of the “Koch Brothers” and must admit it brightened my day. My bad.

  32. 32

    Johnny Ryall is the bum on my stoop
    I gave him fifty cents to buy some soup
    He knows the time, with the fresh Gucci watch
    He’s even more over than my mayor Ed Koch

  33. 33
    eemom says:

    From The Awl’s obit:

    Due to his mouthiness, he was once officially uninvited to visit Greece.

    Now that is impressive.

  34. 34
    Doug Galt says:


    That’s supposed to make me like him?

    Do I have to like Andrew Cuomo for being better than David Patterson too?

  35. 35

    @burnspbesq: I don’t see that “Always hated him” and “would still vote for him over all the considerably worse alternatives” are mutually exclusive.

  36. 36
    Yutsano says:

    @Doug Galt: I’m trying to figure out what was so horrible about Bella Abzug.

  37. 37
    shortstop says:

    @Yutsano: I’m also waiting — with a big smile on my face.

  38. 38
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Yutsano: Her taste in hats?

  39. 39
    Doug Galt says:


    I like the name Bella Abzug.

  40. 40
    burnspbesq says:

    @Doug Galt:

    No, but a tiny bit of fucking perspective wouldn’t fucking kill you.

  41. 41
    Jay C says:

    Sorry to hear Ed Koch is gone: like him or not (and for me, I didn’t, particularly) he WAS quite the genuine, old-fashioned Noo Yawker (of a kind they make many of any more) – and was as good or bad a Mayor as anyone else might have been. But I think that like many another Mayor of NYC, the job did him in in the end, and the inevitable death of a subsequent political career put him on that long slow rightward slide into old-man crankery that spoiled whatever Elder Statesman cred he might have had.

    RIP Ed.

  42. 42
    shortstop says:

    @burnspbesq: I’d have thought the “If you don’t like A, you must be enthusiastic about B” attitude was the one that lacked perspective. Not to mention failing freshman logic.

  43. 43
    Doug Galt says:


    I’m supposed to like an annoying neocon self-promoter because he was better than the other candidates in an election 35 years ago?

    You’ve lost me.

  44. 44
    Doug Galt says:

    @Cris (without an H):

    I’ve always hated Terry McAuliffe too, but I may even give money to his campaign against the Cooch.

  45. 45
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Doug Galt: What was wrong with David Patterson?

  46. 46
    Doug Galt says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Incompetent. He really thought he could buck Shelly Silver et al. without them dishing tons of dirt on him? It was embarrassing. (I was on his side, but he got rolled so badly.)

  47. 47
    eemom says:

    wtf, Burnsy?? Bella Abzug was fucking awesome.

  48. 48
    handsmile says:

    @Doug Galt:

    I knew it, I knew it, I knew if I stayed on this fucking blog long enough, we’d finally agree on something (well, there’s Charles Lane too)!

    But my own loathing for Koch has more than to do with his actions since leaving the mayor’s office (your #26 comment for example) than with his service in that position (of which I am less reliably informed.)

    And try working on that fucking perspective of yours, while you’re at it….

  49. 49
    shortstop says:


    And try working on that fucking perspective of yours, while you’re at it….

    It is a bit like shrieking, “CALM THE FUCK DOWN,” isn’t it?

  50. 50
    liberal says:

    @Doug Galt:
    Yeah, it’s disappointing that TM might be the Dem candidate for VA Gov.

  51. 51
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Jay C: He didn’t need a post mayoral elective office career. He’d already spent many years as a congressman. Besides, post-mayoralty is when he could get that high-paid of-counsel job at a large law firm that would make him wealthy.

  52. 52
    geg6 says:

    So not a fan. This is a gay man who was so afraid of coming out or being outed that he preferred to see hundreds, if not thousands, of his fellow gay men die from AIDS than admit who he was. Randy Shilts and Larry Kramer were right about him and they convinced me that he was worthy of my contempt.

  53. 53
    SarahT says:

    @Doug Galt: Yes to all of this.

  54. 54
    geg6 says:


    “Lifelong bachelor” is how he was and is described. And we all know what that means.

  55. 55
    geg6 says:

    @Doug Galt:

    Heh. Perfect.

  56. 56
    geg6 says:


    Yeah, me too. Bella was awesome.

  57. 57
    SarahT says:

    @Doug Galt: Yep, pretty much.

  58. 58
    Raven says:

    @Yutsano: She was great, she and Shirley both. I love Bella in Manhattan!

  59. 59
    Yutsano says:

    @Raven: That sounds like the title of the musical about her life!
    @geg6: Wink wink nudge nudge say no more. This is exactly why I’m keeping my mom and the NYD far from each other right now. Fortunately the USMC is assisting me in that goal. He rides horses. She’ll instantly love him. I’ll be married within a week if they met!

  60. 60
    shortstop says:

    @Yutsano: God, it sounds so sweet to hear “I’ll be married within a week,” because, now, you know, YOU CAN FINALLY DO THAT IF YOU WANT TO. Arc of history, bitches!

  61. 61
    Maude says:

    Koch never said he was gay. Not all people who stay single are gay.

  62. 62
    Maude says:

    @Doug Galt:
    I heard him on Bloomberg. I’d say a rude word, but it isn’t polite.
    He was a self promoter.

  63. 63
  64. 64
    Alistair says:

    In an odd coincidence, a documentary about Ed Koch just opened today.

  65. 65
    Yutsano says:

    @Alistair: By a staggering coincidence, as Douglas Adams might have said.

  66. 66
    geg6 says:


    No, they aren’t, as I can attest to myself (never married and never will). But usually, people who never marry have some significant other in their lives. Koch never did or, at least, he never had one that anyone knew about.

  67. 67
    Suffern ACE says:

    @geg6: I believe he said he was “married to New York City”.

    You haven’t met her. She lives in Canada and they could only meet in the summers at band camp.

  68. 68
    Ohio Mom says:

    One thing I think should be pointed out is that Koch became mayor back when NYC (my hometown) was still reeling from its brush with bankruptcy. He was just what the city needed at that time because he was such a big booster and the city really needed its morale built back up.

    I remember an interview with him on 60 Minutes, he was pointing out the huge wooden water-tanks that are on top of every building, crowing about how amazing they were, what other place had such water tanks?

    It was somewhat ridiculous, they are hardly NYC’s best feature. I mean, it’s like showing off your garbage disposal or the float in your toilet when someone comes to your house for the first time. They all might be essential to making things run but that’s it.

    But his love for the city was very, very endearing and his enthusiasm reassured people that it didn’t matter that President Ford had essentially told us to Drop Dead, we had what it took to come back even better than before.

    But yeah, in later years he turned into a real right wing yuck.

  69. 69
    Keith G says:

    @Doug Galt: We agree. There is some good in almost all folks, but sometimes you just get tired of looking for it. He wore me out.

  70. 70
    Ohio Mom says:

    Also want to add that I didn’t know it was a secret he was gay. At one time, Bess Myerson, “The First Jewish Miss America,” who served as the head of the city’s Consumer Protection Bureau, was a beard of his.

  71. 71
    Closeted epistemic (formerly Lojasmo) says:


    New Young Dude? Dude!

  72. 72
    Rex Everything says:

    Koch blew me.

  73. 73
    xian says:

    @Hal: remember the unofficial mayoral primary slogan “vote for Cuomo, not for the homo”?

  74. 74
    xian says:

    @Ohio Mom: having grown up in NYC i really miss those damn water towers

  75. 75
    Ruckus says:

    The old saw about the pot and kettle comes to mind here.

    Perspective? That’s rich. Maybe the best comment you have ever made. Or at least silliest.

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