Edward I. Koch, three-term mayor of New York City
Dec. 12, 1924 - Feb. 1, 2013
The self-described "little Jewish kid from the Bronx," Ed Koch rose to become the big brash mayor of New York City in 1978, finding success in the 1977 election by running as a law-and-order liberal who appealed to voters shaken by that summer's electrical blackout and the massive citywide looting that ensued. As outspoken and feisty as any New Yorker, Koch took over a city dispirited by riots and red ink, then helped lead a turnaround in the Big Apple's fortunes by balancing its budget and overseeing the most ambitious housing program in its history, ultimately leading to the creation of more than 200,000 new housing units. After his third and final term as mayor, Koch donned a variety of hats, weighing in on politics, penning movie reviews, hosting a radio show, staring as the judge on The People's Court (1997 to 1999), and writing more than a dozen books, ranging from political arguments to murder mysteries.
Koch died in New York City at age 88.