Resolution J422-2013

Mourning the death of Edward I. Koch, former New York City Mayor



  • Feb 5, 2013: ADOPTED
  • Feb 1, 2013: REFERRED TO FINANCE


LEGISLATIVE  RESOLUTION mourning the death of Edward I. Koch, former New
York City Mayor and esteemed public leader

WHEREAS, This Legislative Body, proudly representing the people  of  the
State of New York, is moved to pause this day to recognize and pay trib-
ute  to  the life and distinguished service of Edward I. Koch, the 105th
Mayor of the great City of New York; and
  WHEREAS, Edward I. Koch, who served three terms as Mayor of  the  City
of  New  York,  from  January  1,  1978 until December 31, 1989, died on
Friday, February 1, 2013, at the age of 88; and
  WHEREAS, This remarkable public leader and staunch supporter of Israel
was well-known and admired for his whirlwind life as a television judge,
radio talk-show host, author, law partner,  newspaper  columnist,  movie
reviewer, professor, commercial pitchman and politician; and
  WHEREAS,  Edward I. Koch was a visionary who used his political acumen
to bring his dreams to fruition and to blaze a trail wide enough  for  a
generation of New Yorkers to follow; and
  WHEREAS,  The  son  of  Jewish immigrants, Louis and Joyce Silpe Koch,
Edward I. Koch was born in Crotona Park East  in  the  Bronx,  New  York
City,  on  December  12, 1924; he left college to serve his country as a
member of the United States Army during World War II, earning two battle
stars in Europe as an infantryman and  was  discharged  in  1946,  as  a
sergeant; and
  WHEREAS,  Edward I. Koch returned to the City College of New York, and
earned a bachelor's degree in 1981; he went on to receive his law degree
in 1948, from New York University and was admitted to the New York State
bar the following year; over the next 20 years, he practiced law in  New
York  City,  becoming  a  founding partner of Koch, Lankenau, Schwartz &
Kovner in 1963; and
  WHEREAS, Edward I. Koch was elected to the City Council in 1967, serv-
ing for two years prior to his election to the United States Congress in
1969, representing the East  Side  of  Manhattan  with  distinction  for
years; and
  WHEREAS,  An irrepressible icon, his 12-year mayoralty encompassed the
fiscal austerity of the late 1970s and many other complex issues; and
  WHEREAS, Mayor Edward I. Koch is credited with leading  the  New  York
City  government back from near bankruptcy in the 1970s to prosperity in
the 1980s; he also began  one  of  the  City's  most  ambitious  housing
programs,  which  continued after he left office and eventually built or
rehabilitated more than  200,000  housing  units,  revitalizing  several
neighborhoods; and
  WHEREAS,  As  Mayor,  Edward I. Koch held down spending, restoring the
City's creditworthiness, and began the restoration of much of the City's
infrastructure, including its bridges and streets; and
  WHEREAS, Re-elected in 1981, Mayor Edward I.  Koch  markedly  improved
the  City's  finances during his second term in office; he hired workers
back and restored many municipal services; in addition,  he  made  plans
for  major  housing  programs,  improvements in education and efforts to
reduce welfare dependency; and
  WHEREAS, In 1985, Edward I. Koch was elected to a third term as  Mayor
of  the  City  of New York, during which his efforts enabled the City to
get back into the bond markets, paving the road to recovery; the housing
plan, based on dozens of city financing and ownership programs, became a
notable and long-lasting success; and
  WHEREAS, By the end of the Koch administration, 3,000  apartments  had
been  created  in  formerly  vacant  buildings,  13,000  more were under
construction, and design work had begun on 20,000 more; and

  WHEREAS, After leaving office, Edward  I.  Koch  presented  forums  on
television  and  radio; he also authored numerous newspaper articles for
THE POST and THE DAILY NEWS, and magazine articles for such  periodicals
as the JEWISH WORLD REVIEW, as well as books; and
  WHEREAS,  He became an adjunct professor at New York University, Bran-
deis University and Baruch College of the City University of  New  York,
and gave lectures across the country; and
  WHEREAS,  Edward I. Koch made regular appearances on WCBS-TV, had talk
shows on Fox television and on WNEW and WABC radio, teamed  with  former
Senator  Alfonse  M.  D'Amato  for  a Bloomberg Radio program, and was a
frequent commentator on the local news television station NY1; and
  WHEREAS, Edward I. Koch appeared, mostly as himself,  in  a  score  of
movies,  including  "The  Muppets  Take  Manhattan" and "The First Wives
Club," and in cameo roles on television shows, including  "Sex  and  the
City";  he also made commercials for Coca-Cola, Snapple, FreshDirect and
Ultra Slim-Fast; and
  WHEREAS, Furthermore, he was the star of "Koch," the documentary  film
by Neil Barsky that had its premiere at the Museum of Modern Art; and
  WHEREAS,  Edward  I.  Koch  became  a  partner in Robinson, Silverman,
Pearce, Aronsohn & Berman, which in a 2002 merger, became Bryan Cave, an
international law firm and one of the largest real estate  practices  in
New York; and
  WHEREAS,  From 1997 to 1999, he was the judge on the nationally syndi-
cated show "The People's Court"; and
  WHEREAS, Edward I. Koch continued to  write  books,  a  total  of  17,
including  murder  mysteries  and  commentaries  on politics, rivals and
other subjects; most were a  blend  of  his  insights,  experiences  and
observations  with  co-authors  providing  the  workaday prose; while in
office, he produced MAYOR (1984), POLITICS (1985) and HIS  EMINENCE  AND
HIZZONER (1989); and
  WHEREAS,  Edward  I.  Koch and his sister wrote a small volume, EDDIE:
HAROLD'S LITTLE BROTHER, a children's book that appeared in 2004; and
  WHEREAS, Predeceased by his brother, Harold M. Koch, Edward I. Koch is
survived by his sister, Pat Koch Thaler,  a  former  dean  at  New  York
University; and
  WHEREAS,  Rare  indeed  is  the  impressive conviction, dedication and
commitment shown by an individual for the benefit of his  community  and
fellow  man,  such as that which has been demonstrated by Edward I. Koch
throughout his purposeful life and distinguished  career;  his  colorful
character,  his  bold  spirit, and his sharp wit will be missed by many;
now, therefore, be it
  RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause  in  its  deliberations  to
mourn  the  death  of  Edward  I.  Koch,  former New York City Mayor and
esteemed public leader; and be it further
  RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to Pat Koch Thaler.


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