Former three-term New York Mayor Ed Koch, age 88, passed away this morning of congestive heart failure. A legend in his own right, Koch led New York through some of its most turbulent years in the 1980s.

Known for his catch phrase “How'm I Doing,” he was outspoken and had a bold and ebullient personality. "You punch me, I punch back," Koch once told a reporter. "I do not believe it's good for one's self-respect to be a punching bag."

Credited with championing gay rights, combatting Tammany Hall, and improving conditions in inner city New York, Koch was not afraid to cross party lines. Although a reform Democrat himself, he also supported President George Bush in the 2004 election and spoke out against President Obama’s call for Israel to return to its pre-1967 borders as part of a Middle East peace-deal. Koch described himself as "a liberal with sanity."

An iconic figure, he is sure to be missed.


Michelle Mohr

Michelle Mohr is a Townhall Editorial Intern.