Elected officials reacted Friday to the passing of Edward I. Koch, 88, who served three terms as mayor of New York in the '80s, offering their condolences to his loved ones and lamenting the loss of one of New York's most iconic leaders.
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz called Koch "one of our city's greatest and most charismatic leaders."
"Although he was born in the Bronx and raised in Newark, Mayor Koch lived with his family in Brooklyn as a young man, and I have no doubt it’s where he got the Brooklyn attitude, swagger and “chutzpah” that made him such a character and helped him navigate New York City through some of its most challenging times," Markowitz said.
He noted the Brooklyn flag over Borough Hall will be lowered in remembrance of Koch. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and colleagues," he continued.
Governor Andrew Cuomo echoed Markowitz's sentiments, saying, "With the passing of Ed Koch, New York has lost one of our most admired public leaders."
"No New Yorker has - or likely ever will - voice their love for New York City in such a passionate and outspoken manner than Ed Koch," Cuomo said. "New York City would not be the place it is today without Ed Koch's leadership over three terms at City Hall. Mr. Mayor was never one to shy away from taking a stand that he believed was right, no matter what the polls said or what was politically correct."
Edward Koch served as a Big Apple Mayor with a big personality who embodied the spirit, wit and resilience of New York City, added Congressman Hakeem Jeffries.
"During his tenure, Mayor Koch saved the City from bankruptcy, led us through a crippling transit strike and engineered the development of thousands of units of affordable housing that have benefited generations of working families in some of our toughest neighborhoods," said Jeffries.
"A pioneer in his day, he reinvented in no uncertain terms what it meant to be a big city Mayor. His journey has now ended, and so it is instead left to us to ask one last time: How did he do? All throughout our City the people are making it clear: He did well."
Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes reflected on his time working under Koch's administration, saying it was an honor to serve as Fire Commissioner during that time.
"I have lost not only a friend but every New Yorker has lost a public servant who not only played an important role in guiding our city as a Councilman, Congressman and Mayor, but someone whose persona epitomized the city he loved," Hynes explained. "He always asked 'how am I doing?' Ed you did magnificent!"
District Leader Robert Cornegy added to the chorus of others mourning the passing of the former NYC mayor:
"His stewardship through one of the city's worst economic crises and his ability to see a quarter million units of affordable housing built on his watch stand out amongst the long list of achievements made by this distinguished public servant," said Cornegy.
"His candor, humor, and commentary were refreshing and thought-provoking. He will be sorely missed."
Assemblyman Walter Mosley said Mayor Ed Koch will be remembered as one of New York City’s great public servants.
"Having saved our city from the verge of bankruptcy during a crucial moment in its development, he truly understood the nature of metropolitan governance," said Mosley. "Few have devoted their lives so completely to the people of New York quite like Mayor Koch, and he will forever remain a paragon of service and leadership.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg expressed his condolences on behalf of all New Yorkers and said the flags at all City buildings will fly at half-staff in his memory.
Bloomberg called Koch the city's most tireless, fearless and guileless civic crusader, saying he was a great mayor, man and friend.
"Through his tough, determined leadership and responsible fiscal stewardship, Ed helped lift the city out of its darkest days and set it on course for an incredible comeback," he said. "We will miss him dearly, but his good works – and his wit and wisdom – will forever be a part of the city he loved so much."