74. Edward Irving "Ed" Koch, 88, December 12, 1924 - February 1, 2013:
Politician; American attorney, U.S. Representative, mayor of New York City; congestive heart failure
Love him or hate him, no one was more representative of New York City (both the good and the bad) than Ed Koch. There was definitely an Upstate-Downstate dynamic to Ed Koch. While Downstaters may have loved him, we Upstaters more often saw him as the putz with the chutzpah; a man who exuded Downstate arrogance but who nonetheless had the brass to actually pull it off.
We loved him: he dug down deep and remade New York City after the disastrous term of the prior mayor, Abe Beame, who brought the city to the brink of bankruptcy.
We hated him: he allegedly balked at running for governor in part because he felt that there were simply no decent Chinese restaurants in the wilds of the Greater Capital Region. I'm sure this was merely attributed to Koch, since even Koch wouldn't have been so unbelievably tone-deaf, being the superb politician that he was. Still, it hit a raw nerve amongst us Upstaters.
Later in life, he seemed to have lost his mind, especially in his bizarre support of George Bush's second election.
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