NEW YORK Edward 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 early Friday morning 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.
On Monday, Koch had returned to the hospital two days after being released after a week-long stay to treat water in his lungs and legs, the Associated Press reported. Koch also was hospitalized in December 2012 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 broke out after a blackout in July 1977.
Edward Irving Koch was born in the Bronx on Dec. 12, 1924, the second of three children of Russian-Jewish immigrants Louis and Joyce Silpe Koch. His father was in the garment business. Koch attended City College of New York from 1941 to 1943, when he was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II. He was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant in 1946.