Former New York mayor, Ed Koch, passed away today at a local New York hospital. Sources state that Koch died around 2 a.m. Friday morning due to congestive heart failure after being admitted to the hospital this week, complaining of shortness of breath. He was moved to the intensive care unit for observation, when fluid was discovered on his legs and in his lungs. This was his second admittance to the hospital for the same symptoms since January 19th, Huffington Post reports.
Ed Koch was born on December 12, 1924. During his college years, he enlisted to the Army and was soon putting college on hold to fight in World War II. He served three years in the Army during the war and received two Battle Stars according to Biography. After the war, Koch returned home to New York and resumed his college education at the City College of New York and New York University. He earned his law degree and set up his private practice in 1949. Later, in 1967, Koch became a member of the New York City Council, holding this position for two years until taking a job as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1969.
In 1978, Koch was elected mayor of New York, running on the Democratic ticket. In 1981, he was re-elected due to his handling of a crisis which could have resulted in the city going bankrupt. He served his mayoral term until 1989, when he was beaten out by David Dinkins. He soon returned to practicing law and even became a talk-show host and columnist for New York newspapers.
Koch had been battling health issues since 1990, including heart disease, but never let this slow him down. According to sources, Koch was active and tried to watch what he ate. He was a very outspoken individual, a quality many remember fondly. At age 83, he paid $20,000 for a burial plot and had his tombstone carved out in advance, saying simply "My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I am Jewish," the last reported words of Daniel Pearl, former Wall Street Journal Reporter. Koch's funeral will be held Monday at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan, with burial to follow at Trinity Church Cemetery.