Ed Koch
American politician
Ed Koch
Edward Irving "Ed" Koch was an American lawyer, politician, political commentator, movie critic and reality television arbitrator. He served in the United States House of Representatives from 1969 to 1977 and three terms as mayor of New York City, which he led from fiscal insolvency to economic boom from 1978 to 1989. Koch was a lifelong Democrat who described himself as a "liberal with sanity".
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Protection Against Tomorrow
Huffington Post - about 1 month
Insurance is a complicated business; it sells protection so one could hedge against potential losses in the future. Insurance companies don't deny reality. They base their product on detailed programs and actuarial tables in order to assess the risks of future activities. Donald Trump's inaugural address was also based on protection but unlike the insurance industry, Trump was telling the American people that he could protect them from the future itself. By repudiating globalization in his speech and then in eliminating the White House postings on global warming, Trump was more in tuned to the counter reformation of 15th and 16th century Europe than America in 2017; denying what is clearly evident. In its worldview his speech was not so dissimilar to view of the court that in 1663 found the Astronomer Galileo guilty for saying the earth turns around the sun. At his conviction, Galileo was reported to say, "But it still turns," and so it is with globalization, technology and global ...
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Huffington Post article
No One Promised Media a Rose Garden
Huffington Post - about 1 month
Methinks my former press colleagues doth protest too much about Trump's war on the media. He is an asshole but the media's job is to cover him as he is, not as we want him to be. His lies, his distractions, his bizarre and potentially treasonous infatuation with Vladimir Putin, his conflicts, his religious and racist bigotry, his ignorance, his xenophobia, his narcissism, his disdain for the voters who elected him, his disregard for the domestic and international consensus that has kept the country and world afloat, his cabinet of plutocrats and right wing apparatchiks, all those can and must be covered without whining that he is being disrespectful to the media. I think Carl Bernstein had it right that Kelly Anne Conway is the minister of propaganda. I have been on shows with her. She is smart and open-minded and funny in the green room and then nothing but talking points on the set. So the job is to try and cut through the blather to find the closest approximation to truth that ...
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Huffington Post article
No, Donald Trump Did Not Win A Medal From The NAACP
Huffington Post - 4 months
WASHINGTON — A photograph of Donald Trump, Muhammad Ali and Rosa Parks that the founder of Trump’s “diversity coalition” hailed as evidence the Republican nominee won an “NAACP medal” for “helping America’s inner cities” was actually taken at an awards ceremony organized by a business associate with an ethnic grievance. William Fugazy, a politically well-connected businessman who later pleaded guilty to perjury, gave the awards to Trump and 79 other people, most of them white, to protest the awarding of “medals of liberty” to a group of 12 recent immigrants that included a Chinese-born architect, a Costa Rica-born astronaut, a leading expert on the psychology of race, and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, but no “Irish, Italian, or Polish” people. Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime attorney, adviser and campaign surrogate, posted the photo on Twitter earlier this week of Trump, Parks and Ali, “receiving NAACP medals for helping America’s inner cities. A man for ALL people! ...
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Huffington Post article
Donald Trump Still Thinks The Central Park Five Are Guilty (They Aren't)
Huffington Post - 5 months
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump still believes the “Central Park Five,” a group of black and Hispanic men who were convicted but later exonerated in the 1989 rape of a female jogger in New York City’s Central Park, are guilty, he told CNN this week. The news comes more than a decade after the men were cleared by DNA evidence and a confession by the actual culprit about his role in the crime. “They admitted they were guilty,” Trump told CNN’s Miguel Marquez. “The police doing the original investigation say they were guilty. The fact that that case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous. And the woman, so badly injured, will never be the same.” Trump’s statement underscores a fundamental disregard for the criminal justice system. While the five individuals accused in the case did at one point confess to crimes related to the rape of then-28-year-old Trisha Meili ― though never actually admitting to rape ― they all later retracted their statement ...
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Huffington Post article
9/11, Gratitude and The New York Islands on Two Wheels
Huffington Post - 5 months
I have New York on my brain. Maybe the third time really is a charm, as my August visit was my third recent trip east to help my father through back surgery and rehab. Or maybe it's just that the place still sings to me, perhaps clearer than ever, after thirty years away. To close the New York deal, I am reading Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning, about the 1977 blackout, New York politics and the Yankees. The excellent read which I started on my flight back to the Best Coast is transporting me to my childhood in New York in the '70s. Spared the trauma of poverty, war and hunger, the closest this son of privilege has ever gotten to real hardship was taking in the piles of cinder block rubble of once thriving Bronx and Harlem neighborhoods through the window of the southbound Jerome Avenue Number 4 and Harlem Line trains. I'm not comparing what I saw out the train window and what others lived daily. But nonetheless, it made me the unsettled by inequity soul that I am today. ...
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Huffington Post article
Donald Trump Only Uses The Word 'Rape' When He Has Something To Gain
Huffington Post - 9 months
WASHINGTON -- Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump doesn't hesitate to use the word "rape" when talking about Mexican immigrants, the Chinese government or former President Bill Clinton -- all of whom it helps him politically to condemn. But in other cases -- like when the person accused of sexual misconduct is a wealthy or powerful man who doesn't happen to be married to Hillary Clinton -- Trump is less enthusiastic about assigning blame. In fact, he's been known to promote misleading and damaging ideas about victims, which fits into his larger pattern of misogyny. On Monday, Trump released an attack ad featuring audio clips of Juanita Broaddrick, a woman who in 1999 accused Bill Clinton of rape. Trump used the word "rape" in an interview with Fox News last week to describe Broaddrick's claims. He also tweeted last week that Clinton was "the WORST abuser of wom[e]n in U.S. political history." (Bill Clinton attended Trump's 2005 wedding to Melania Knauss, an ...
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Huffington Post article
CAMPAIGN SHOCKER! New York tabloids still have influence in presidential race
LATimes - 10 months
George Arzt has been around New York media long enough to know the presidential candidates were in for pain when they hit his city. Even he, however, a New York Post alumnus who went on to handle media for the late Mayor Ed Koch, has been astounded to see so many candidates resemble deer caught...
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LATimes article
NY's Homeless Need Housing, Services And Shouldn't Be Forced Into Shelters: Advocates
Huffington Post - about 1 year
NEW YORK (AP) -- As bitter winter weather arrived in the Northeast, New York's governor issued an executive order requiring the homeless to be forcibly removed from the streets in freezing temperatures, an unprecedented government intervention that faced immediate legal questions and backlash. The order, believed to be the only one of its kind in any city or state, would require communities to reach out to their street homeless populations and take those people to shelters, voluntarily or not, once the temperature drops to 32 degrees Fahrenheit or below. "We have to get people in off the streets," Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. But the order faced resistance, including from New York City officials, who threatened not to comply. The prospect of forcible removals from the streets also raised deep worries among advocates for the homeless. "Put simply, being homeless is not a crime," said Mary Brosnahan, president of the Coalition for the Homeless in New York, who warned ...
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Huffington Post article
NY's Homeless Need Housing, Services And Shouldn't Be Forced Into Shelters: Advocates
Huffington Post - about 1 year
NEW YORK (AP) -- As bitter winter weather arrived in the Northeast, New York's governor issued an executive order requiring the homeless to be forcibly removed from the streets in freezing temperatures, an unprecedented government intervention that faced immediate legal questions and backlash. The order, believed to be the only one of its kind in any city or state, would require communities to reach out to their street homeless populations and take those people to shelters, voluntarily or not, once the temperature drops to 32 degrees Fahrenheit or below. "We have to get people in off the streets," Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. But the order faced resistance, including from New York City officials, who threatened not to comply. The prospect of forcible removals from the streets also raised deep worries among advocates for the homeless. "Put simply, being homeless is not a crime," said Mary Brosnahan, president of the Coalition for the Homeless in New York, who warned ...
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Huffington Post article
The Public Should Pay for Elections So Politicians Can't Be Bought
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Until election campaigns in New York State are publicly funded, getting rid of bad-apple politicians won't do much. The whole tree is rotten. It's Albany's money culture that blurs the line between legal fundraising and give and get-in-return criminal activity. The Legislature must act, but it's time for Governor Cuomo to lead the charge, and actually try to win reform this time. Yesterday, now-former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos was found guilty on corruption charges. Last week, it was now-former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Before them, even in recent history, there's a very long list. There has been a lot of local and national media attention paid to the money in politics problem - on record spending, as well as stories of lobbyists and elected officials crossing that blurred line into criminal behavior. But insufficient attention has been given to solutions like public financing of elections. As a result, we have a nation full of people outraged about ...
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Huffington Post article
NYC Subway Cars: From Rolling Canvasses To Rolling Billboards
Huffington Post - about 2 years
"If I had my way, I wouldn't put in dogs, but wolves," New York mayor Ed Koch suggested famously as a facetious proposal for releasing ferocious animals on graffiti writers in the train yards in the early 1980s. For Koch and his two predecessors the graffiti on trains was a searingly hot focal point, a visual affront to citizens, an aesthetic plague upon the populous. It created a discomforting atmosphere described by The New York Times editorial board as evidence of "criminality and contempt for the public."* The fight against this particular blight began in earnest, and by decade's end all 5,000 or so subway cars had become clean and the famed era of graffiti on trains was terminated. Twenty-five years later, whole-car graffiti trains are back in New York. Visually bombed with color and stylized typography top to bottom, inside and outside, and the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) is pocketing some handsome fees for it. It is not aerosol anymore, rather the eye-popping subway s ...
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Huffington Post article
Herring. Yum.
New Voices - National Jewish Stu - about 3 years
Herrrinnggg…*drool* | CC via Wikimedia Commons I will never forget the day I brought herring sandwiches to school. There I was, an awkward little seven-year-old, eating a vinegary and odorous pickled herring sandwich on brown bread in the middle of the lunch room. A delicious and very filling lunch for a first-grader. And there were the faces of my (mostly Jewish) classmates, shocked that I was eating something “so gross” and “so yucky.” It is more a testament to my stubbornness than my bravery that I did not understand their disgust, and continued to occasionally grace the lunchroom with pickled herring sandwiches throughout elementary school. And often, I would be asked: “why are you eating that?” Well, it’s good. Certainly better (and more kosher) than Lunchables! I love the Ashkenazi Jewish culinary tradition. I love the matzoh balls, the latkes, and the hamantashen. Hell, I make my own poppy seed filling every year. But I also love some of the things that a ...
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New Voices - National Jewish Stu article
Reagan letter tops auction of NYC mayor Koch items
Yahoo News - about 3 years
NEW YORK (AP) — Letters from former President Ronald Reagan and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis were the most popular items Monday at an auction of materials that belonged to ex-Mayor Ed Koch.
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Yahoo News article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Ed Koch
  • 2013
    Age 88
    His funeral took place on February 4, 2013, at Temple Emanu-El, a Reform Jewish congregation in Manhattan.
    More Details Hide Details Because of Koch's fierce loyalty to Israel, the Israeli Consul-General to New York City spoke. The former president, Bill Clinton, also addressed the congregation, serving as President Obama's representative. New York City Police Department helicopters gave a fly-over at the service. In April 2008, Koch had purchased a burial plot in Trinity Church Cemetery so that he could be buried in Manhattan. It is the only graveyard in the borough accepting new burials. He chose to put the last words of the late journalist Daniel Pearl on his tombstone: "My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I am Jewish." A practiced public speaker since his days stumping for Adlai Stevenson, Koch was well known for his quips and one-liners. A few include: On the occasion of his primary loss to David Dinkins) "The people have spoken and they must be punished."
    Early in 2013, Koch endorsed Christine Quinn in the Democratic primary for that year's mayoral election.
    More Details Hide Details Koch often wrote in defense of Israel and, also, against anti-Semitism. He was a contributor to Newsmax, a conservative magazine. He also appeared in the documentary FahrenHYPE 9/11 defending President Bush and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and blasting Michael Moore. Koch was quoted in the film saying of Moore's film, Fahrenheit 9/11, "It's not a documentary, it's a lie." Koch praised New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. He said that both had the right approach in reducing government spending and refraining from raising taxes. Koch was an early supporter of the Iraq War. In July 2007, Koch wrote that he was "bailing out" of his previous support for that war, due to the failure of the United States' NATO allies, and other Arab countries, to contribute to the war effort. Koch wrote, "I would support our troops remaining in Iraq if our allies were to join us. But they have made it clear they will not." He added that the U.S. must still "prepare for the battles that will take place on American soil by the Islamic forces of terror who are engaged in a war that will be waged by them against Western civilization for at least the next 30 years."
  • 2012
    Age 87
    In October 2012, Koch told Al Sharpton that after a conversation with U.S. President Obama about his position on Israel he was satisfied, and endorsed his reelection.
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  • 2011
    Age 86
    In 2011, Koch, a lifelong Democrat, endorsed Republican Bob Turner for Congress, because Koch "wanted to send a message to Obama to take a stronger position in support of Israel."
    More Details Hide Details Many Jewish voters joined Koch to elect the Roman Catholic Turner, rather than his Jewish Democratic opponent David Weprin, giving Republicans their first win in the NY-9th Congressional seat since the 1920s.
    On March 23, 2011, the New York City Council voted to rename the Queensboro Bridge as the "Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge" in honor of the former mayor.
    More Details Hide Details Later, city councilman Peter Vallone (D-Queens) introduced legislation banning the naming of New York City property after people who are still alive. The legislation subsequently failed. In May 2011 Koch sat for a portrait by Dmitry Borshch which has been exhibited at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, DePaul University, Brecht Forum, CUNY Graduate Center and is included in the Catalog of American Portraits, maintained by the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.
  • 2010
    Age 85
    In 2010 he rescinded his support for Obama, stating a belief that Obama could very well harm American–Israeli relations.
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  • 2009
    Age 84
    In the summer of 2009, Koch began appearing in weekly movie review segments for a web video show called Mayor at the Movies.
    More Details Hide Details The former mayor was an avid moviegoer who often saw two or three movies every weekend. Although he was invited to private screenings, he preferred to see films with a public audience and was often approached by stunned moviegoers who were surprised to find him there. His reviews were regularly outspoken and wry, with his rating system consisting not of stars but of a "plus" (for a good film) or a "minus" for a bad one. He had a particular passion for independent cinema as well as documentaries, although he enjoyed dramas and action films as well. In addition to being showcased on Mayor at the Movies, his film reviews were regularly featured on The Huffington Post and also in the New York newspaper The Villager. In addition to reviewing movies, the Mayor appeared in more than 60 Hollywood films and television shows as himself, including Sex and the City, Spin City, Saturday Night Live, and The Muppets Take Manhattan. A documentary about Koch's life, Koch, had its world premiere at the Hamptons International Film Festival on October 8, 2012, and was released theatrically on February 1, 2013 (coincidentally, the day of Koch's death).
  • 2008
    Age 83
    Koch originally endorsed Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States during the 2008 presidential campaign, then endorsed Democratic nominee Barack Obama in the general election.
    More Details Hide Details In his endorsement of Obama, Koch wrote that he felt that (unlike in 2004) both sets of candidates would do their best to protect both the United States and Israel from terrorist attacks, but that he agreed with much more of Obama's domestic policies, and that the concept of Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin ascending to the presidency "would scare me".
  • 2007
    Age 82
    In May 2007, Koch called Giuliani "a control freak" and said that "he wouldn't meet with people he didn't agree with.
    More Details Hide Details That's pretty crazy." He also said that Giuliani "was imbued with the thought that if he was right, it was like a God-given right. That's not what we need in a president."
    He resumed his attacks, and had the book re-published, in 2007, after Giuliani announced his candidacy for president.
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  • 2006
    Age 81
    Koch also endorsed Democrats, including Eliot Spitzer for governor in the 2006 election.
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  • 2004
    Age 79
    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.
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    In 2004, together with his sister Pat (also Pauline) Koch Thaler, Koch wrote a children's book, Eddie, Harold's Little Brother; the book told the story of Koch's own childhood, when he tried unsuccessfully to emulate his older brother Harold's baseball talents, before realizing that he should instead focus on what he was already good at, which was telling stories and speaking in public.
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  • 2000
    Age 75
    He endorsed Bill Bradley for president in 2000.
    More Details Hide Details Koch took back his endorsement of Spitzer in the aftermath of the governor's prostitution scandal. He said, "At the time the prostitution episode emerged, I commented that nothing could explain his behavior other than the fact that he had a screw loose in his head. Probably several."
  • 1996
    Age 71
    Though Koch supported Giuliani's first mayoral bid, he became opposed to him in January 1996, and began writing a series of columns in the New York Daily News criticizing Giuliani, most frequently accusing him of being authoritarian and insensitive.
    More Details Hide Details In 1999, the columns were compiled into the book Giuliani: Nasty Man.
  • 1993
    Age 68
    On August 12, 1993, a street in southern Tel Aviv was named after Koch in a ceremony attended by him along prominent Israeli and American dignitaries.
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    He crossed party lines to endorse Rudy Giuliani for mayor in 1993, Michael Bloomberg in 2001, and President George W. Bush in 2004.
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  • 1989
    Age 64
    In 1989, Koch ran for a fourth term as Mayor but lost the Democratic primary to David Dinkins, who went on to defeat Rudolph Giuliani in the general election.
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  • 1988
    Age 63
    Koch's criticism of Jesse Jackson during the 1988 presidential race had angered many black voters and was cited as a major reason for his defeat.
    More Details Hide Details In the years following his mayoralty, Koch became a partner in the law firm of Robinson, Silverman, Pearce, Aronsohn, and Berman LLP, (now Bryan Cave LLP) and became a commentator on politics, as well reviewing movies and restaurants, for newspapers, radio and television. He also became an adjunct professor at New York University (NYU) and was the judge on The People's Court for two years (1997–1999), following the retirement of Judge Joseph Wapner. In 1999, he was a visiting professor at Brandeis University. Koch regularly appeared on the lecture circuit, and had a highly rated local talk show on WABC radio. He also hosted his own movie review video show on the web called The Mayor at the Movies.
    For one, he became a controversial figure in the 1988 presidential campaign with his public criticism of Democratic candidate Jesse Jackson, who had surprised many political observers by winning key primaries in March and running even with the front runner, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis.
    More Details Hide Details As the April New York primary approached, Koch reminded voters of Jackson's earlier anti-semitic statements, and said that Jews would be "crazy" to vote for Jackson. Koch endorsed Tennessee Senator Al Gore, who had run well in his native south, but hadn't won 20 percent in a northern state. As Koch's anti-Jackson rhetoric intensified, Gore seemed to shy away from Koch. On primary day, Gore finished a weak third place with 10 percent of the vote and dropped out of the race. Jackson ran ten points behind Dukakis, whose nomination became assured after his New York win.
  • 1987
    Age 62
    In July 1987, Koch proposed banning bicycling on Fifth, Park and Madison Avenues during weekdays, but many bicyclists protested and had the ban overturned.
    More Details Hide Details It has been said that race relations in Mayor Koch's last years were not good.
    Shortly afterward Koch suffered a stroke in 1987 while in office, but was able to continue with his duties.
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  • 1985
    Age 60
    Despite his overall pro-lesbian and pro-gay-rights stance, he nonetheless backed up the New York City Health Department's decision to shut down the city's gay bathhouses in 1985 in response to concerns over the spread of AIDS.
    More Details Hide Details The enactment of the measure the following year placed the city in a dilemma, as it apparently meant that the bathhouses would have to be re-opened because many heterosexual "sex clubs"most notably Plato's Retreatwere in operation in the city at the time, and allowing them to remain open while keeping the bathhouses shuttered would have been a violation of the newly adopted anti-discrimination law. The Health Department, with Koch's approval, reacted by ordering the heterosexual clubs, including Plato's Retreat, to close as well. Koch consistently demonstrated a fierce love for New York City, which some observers felt he carried to extremes on occasion: In 1984 he had gone on record as opposing the creation of a second telephone area code for the city, claiming that this would divide the city's population; and when the National Football League's New York Giants won Super Bowl XXI in January 1987, he refused to grant a permit for the team to hold their traditional victory parade in the city, quipping famously, "If they want a parade, let them parade in front of the oil drums in Moonachie" (the latter being a town in New Jersey adjacent to East Rutherford, site of the Meadowlands Sports Complex, where the Giants play their home games).
    In 1985, Koch again ran for re-election, this time on the Democratic and Independent tickets; he defeated Liberal Party candidate Carol Bellamy and Republican candidate Diane McGrath with 78 percent of the vote.
    More Details Hide Details During the campaign, Koch came to visit the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, seeking his blessing and endorsement. In 1986, Koch signed a lesbian and gay rights ordinance for the city after the City Council passed the measure (on March 20), following several failed attempts by that body to approve such legislation.
  • 1984
    Age 59
    In 1984, Koch published his first memoir, Mayor, which became a best-seller and was later turned into an Off Broadway and later Broadway musical, Mayor.
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  • 1982
    Age 57
    In 1982, Koch ran unsuccessfully for Governor of New York, losing the Democratic primary to Mario Cuomo, who was then lieutenant governor.
    More Details Hide Details Many say the deciding factor in Koch's loss was an interview with Playboy magazine in which he described the lifestyle of both suburbia and upstate New York as "sterile" and lamented the thought of having to live in "the small town" of Albany as governor. Koch's remarks are thought to have alienated many voters from outside New York City. Koch often deviated from the conventional liberal line, strongly supporting the death penalty and taking a hard line on "quality of life" issues, such as giving police broader powers in dealing with the homeless and favoring (and signing) legislation banning the playing of radios on subways and buses. These positions prompted harsh criticism of him from the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and many African-American leaders, particularly the Reverend Al Sharpton.
  • 1981
    Age 56
    In 1981, he ran for re-election as mayor, running on both the Democratic and Republican Party lines; in November he won, defeating his main opponent, Unity Party candidate Frank J. Barbaro, with 75 percent of the vote.
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    He won re-election in 1981 with 75 percent, the first New York City mayor to win endorsement on both the Democratic and Republican party tickets.
    More Details Hide Details He won his second re-election with 78 percent of the vote. His third term was fraught with scandal regarding political associates, although it never touched him personally, and with racial tensions, including the murder of Yusuf Hawkins a month before a fourth primary, which he lost in a close race to New York City's first black mayor, David Dinkins. Koch was born in Crotona Park East section of The Bronx borough of New York City, the son of Yetta (or Joyce, née Silpe) and Louis (Leib) Koch, immigrants from Uscieczko in Eastern Galicia. He came from a family of Conservative Jews who resided in Newark, New Jersey, where his father worked at a theater. As a child, he worked as a hatcheck boy in a Newark dance hall.
  • 1977
    Age 52
    Koch was a lifelong bachelor, and his sexual orientation became an issue in the 1977 mayoral election with the appearance of placards and posters (disavowed by the Cuomo campaign) with the slogan "Vote for Cuomo, Not the Homo."
    More Details Hide Details Koch denounced the attack. The rumor that Koch was a closet homosexual was further fueled by Larry Kramer, who often criticized the Mayor for not doing more to ease the HIV/AIDS crisis in New York. In 1989, Koch was interviewed about a book he had coauthored with Cardinal John J. O'Connor. When the interviewer asked Koch to clarify his views on homosexuality relative to Cardinal O'Connor, Koch responded, "I happen to believe that there's nothing wrong with homosexuality. It's whatever God made you. It happens that I'm a heterosexual." He once told New York magazine "Listen, there's no question that some New Yorkers think I'm gay, and voted for me nevertheless. The vast majority don't care, and others don't think I am. And I don't give a (expletive) either way!" He was frequently accompanied at political functions by his friend Bess Myerson, whose presence was regarded by some observers as only an effort to defuse rumors of his alleged homosexuality.
    According to historian Jonathan Mahler, the New York City blackout of 1977 that happened in July, and the subsequent rioting, helped catapult Koch and his message of restoring public safety to front-runner status.
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    In 1977, Koch ran in the Democratic primary of the New York City mayoral election against incumbent Abe Beame, Bella Abzug and Mario Cuomo, among others.
    More Details Hide Details Koch ran to the right of the other candidates, on a "law and order" platform.
  • 1976
    Age 51
    In mid-July 1976, the CIA learned that two high-level Uruguayan intelligence officers had discussed a possible assassination attempt on Koch by Dirección de Inteligencia Nacional (DINA), the Chilean secret police. The CIA did not regard these threats as credible until after the September 1976 assassination of Orlando Letelier in Washington, D.C., by Dirección de Inteligencia Nacional (DINA) agents coordinated by Operation Condor.
    More Details Hide Details After this assassination, Director of Central Intelligence George H.W. Bush informed Koch by phone of the threat. Koch subsequently asked both the CIA and the FBI for protection, but none was extended.
    In 1976, Koch proposed that the U.S. cut off military aid and supplies to the government of Uruguay which was under a dictatorship.
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  • 1973
    Age 48
    Koch briefly ran for Mayor in 1973, but garnered little support and dropped out before the Democratic primary.
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    At about this same time, Koch began his rightward shift towards being a "liberal with sanity" after reviewing the 1973 controversy around then-New York City Mayor John Lindsay's attempt to place a 3,000-person housing project in the middle of a middle-class community in Forest Hills, Queens.
    More Details Hide Details Congressman Koch met with residents of the community, most of whom were against the proposal. He was convinced by their arguments, and spoke out against the plan, shocking some of his liberal allies. Koch was active in advocating for a greater U.S. role in advancing human rights, within the context of fighting a perceived threat of communism. He had particular influence in the foreign aid budget, as he sat on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations.
    Koch said he began his political career as "just a plain liberal", with positions including opposing the Vietnam War and marching in the South for civil rights. In April 1973, Koch coined the term "Watergate Seven" when, in response to U.S. Senator Lowell P. Weicker, Jr.'s indicating that one of the men in Watergate scandal had been ordered in the spring of 1972 to keep certain senators and representatives under surveillance, posted a sign on the door of his United States Congress office saying, 'These premises were surveilled by the Watergate Seven.
    More Details Hide Details Watch yourself'.
  • 1969
    Age 44
    Koch was the Democratic U.S. Representative from New York's 17th congressional district from January 3, 1969, until January 3, 1973, when, after a redistricting, he represented New York's 18th congressional district until December 31, 1977, when he resigned to become Mayor of New York City.
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    He served in the United States House of Representatives from 1969 to 1977 and three terms as mayor of New York City from 1978 to 1990.
    More Details Hide Details Koch was a lifelong Democrat who described himself as a "liberal with sanity". The author of an ambitious public housing renewal program in his later years as mayor, he began by cutting spending and taxes and cutting 7,000 from the city payroll. As a congressman and after his terms as mayor he was a fervent supporter of the State of Israel.
  • 1967
    Age 42
    Koch served on the New York City Council from 1967 to 1969.
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  • 1963
    Age 38
    In 1963, Koch defeated DeSapio for the position of Democratic Party leader for the district which included Greenwich Village, and Koch won again in a 1965 rematch.
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  • 1962
    Age 37
    In 1962 Koch ran for office for the first time, unsuccessfully opposing incumbent William Passannante, a DeSapio ally, for the Democratic nomination for the State Assembly.
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  • 1949
    Age 24
    Koch was a sole practitioner from 1949 to 1964, and a partner with Koch, Lankenau, Schwartz & Kovner from 1965 to 1968.
    More Details Hide Details A Democrat, he became active in New York City politics as a reformer and opponent of Carmine DeSapio and Tammany Hall.
  • 1945
    Age 20
    Koch returned to New York City to attend City College of New York, graduating in 1945, and New York University School of Law, receiving his law degree in 1948.
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  • 1943
    Age 18
    He was drafted into the United States Army in 1943, where he served as an infantryman with the 104th Infantry Division, landing in Cherbourg, France, in September 1944.
    More Details Hide Details He earned a European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with two campaign stars, a World War II Victory Medal, and the Combat Infantryman Badge for service in the European Theater of Operations. After V-E Day, because he could speak German, Koch was sent to Bavaria to help remove Nazi public officials from their jobs and find non-Nazis to take their place. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant in 1946.
  • 1941
    Age 16
    He graduated from South Side High School in Newark in 1941.
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  • 1924
    Born on December 12, 1924.
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