Empire State Building
NYC Weather Forecast
NYC History & Politics
New York City History
Tammany Hall and Politics
New York City Politicians
New York City Personalities
Culture of Gotham City
Culture of the city
City in popular culture
Edward Irving Koch (born December 12, 1924; pronounced to rhyme with Scotch) was a United States Congressman from 1969 to 1977 and the Mayor of New York City from 1978 to 1989
Mayor of New York City
In 1977, Koch ran in the Democratic primary of the New York mayoral election against incumbent Abe Beame, Bella Abzug and Mario Cuomo, among others. Koch ran to the right of the other candidates, on a "law and order" platform. According to historian Jonathan Mahler, the blackout that happened in July of that year, and the subsequent rioting, helped catapult Koch and his message of restoring public safety to front-runner status. Koch also attributes some measure of credit for his victory to Rupert Murdoch's decision to have the New York Post endorse him in both the primary and the general election. Koch won the initial vote in the Democratic primary, as well as a runoff vote held between him and Cuomo. In the general election, also held in 1977, Koch beat Cuomo, who ran on the Liberal Party ticket, and Roy M. Goodman, running on the Republican ticket.
After winning the election, Koch resigned from Congress to become the 105th Mayor of New York City.
His catch-phrase as Mayor was "How'm I doing?" When walking down the street, he would often use that question as a greeting to the people he talked to.
As Mayor, Ed Koch is credited with restoring fiscal stability to the City of New York, and placing the City on a budget balanced according to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). He also established a merit selection system for Criminal and Family Court judges, and established extensive housing programs. He issued an executive order prohibiting all discrimination against homosexuals by City employees. A second executive order binding suppliers of the City to the same standards was eventually struck down by court order insofar as it applied to religious organizations, which were exempted from civil rights legislation by State law. John Cardinal O'Connor and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York were participants in the lawsuit against the executive order.
In April 1980, he successfully broke a strike by the city's subway and bus operators, invoking the state's Taylor Law, which prohibits strikes by state or local government employees and imposes fines on any union authorizing such a strike which steadily escalate each day the strike continues. On one morning he famously walked to City Hall across the Brooklyn Bridge, in solidarity with the many commuters who had chosen to walk to work. The strikers returned to work after eleven days.
He was a delegate to the 1980 Democratic National Convention from the city. However, he invited Ronald Reagan to Gracie Mansion shortly before that year's Presidential election, in which Reagan defeated Democratic incumbent Jimmy Carter - a move widely seen as a tacit endorsement of Reagan on the part of Koch.
In 1981, City College of New York awarded Koch a B.A. degree.
New York City Search