Poster-art-for-Koch_event_main.jpg

Edward I. Koch, Rest in Peace

Well this is terribly sad news to wake up to. Hizzoner Ed Koch, New York City’s former mayor, died earlier this morning.

The definitive obituary in the New York Times.

But I rather enjoyed this:

  1. Group Captain Mandrake

    I was fortunate to have heard him speaking in my synagogue every year on Rosh Hashanah, more or less since my arrival in the US in the late 1990s.  He was a good raconteur, and his support for Israel was unwavering.  On more than one occasion he made it clear that he disagreed with the policies being pursued by Obama, although I note that he publicly advocated voting for Obama in the recent elections.

    I will miss his Rosh Hashanah speeches.

  2. Whiskey Sam

    Koch had the best putdown I’ve ever heard.  He was arguing with someone and finally said, “I can explain it to you, but I can’t comprehend it for you.”

  3. Percival
    Whiskey Sam: Koch had the best putdown I’ve ever heard.  He was arguing with someone and finally said, “I can explain it to you, but I can’t comprehend it for you.” · 6 minutes ago

    That is my favorite quote of his.

    A close second: “The people have spoken…and they must be punished.”

  4. Fred Cole

    Ed Koch died!?

  5. Fred Cole

    I apply the Ed Koch Rule to political candidates.

    Ed Koch said 

    “If you agree with me on 7 our of 10 things then vote for me.  If you agree with me on 10 about 10 things, see a psychiatrist.”

  6. Trace

    They broke the mold.

     Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha’Olam Dayan Ha’Emet

  7. Mollie Hemingway
    C

    I find this fascinating, particularly since Daniel Pearl also died on February 1:

    Former New York City mayor Ed Koch died Friday morning at the age of 88. He plans to be buried in Manhattan, the three-term mayor said in 2008. His headstone and a memorial bench, placed at Trinity Church Cemetery in 2009, evoke his faith and his admiration of a murdered journalist. Koch explained his plans in 2008 to the Associated Press:

    The marker will bear the Star of David and a Hebrew prayer, “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.” It also will be inscribed with the last words of journalist Daniel Pearl before he was murdered by terrorists in 2002: “My father is Jewish. My mother is Jewish. I am Jewish.”

    Koch explained that he had been moved that Pearl chose to affirm his faith and heritage in his last moments.

  8. Western Chauvinist

    Ed Koch was one of the last Democrats I’d tune-in to hear, rather than lunge for the off button. 

    I may not have agreed much with his politics, but we’ll always have this in common:

    Which living person do you most despise?  Former president Jimmy Carter.

    RIP.

  9. Western Chauvinist
    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.: I find this fascinating, particularly since Daniel Pearl also died on February 1:

    Former New York City mayor Ed Koch died Friday morning at the age of 88. He plans to be buried in Manhattan, the three-term mayor said in 2008. His headstone and a memorial bench, placed at Trinity Church Cemetery in 2009, evoke his faith and his admiration of a murdered journalist. Koch explained his plans in 2008 to the Associated Press:

    The marker will bear the Star of David and a Hebrew prayer, “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.” It also will be inscribed with the last words of journalist Daniel Pearl before he was murdered by terrorists in 2002: “My father is Jewish. My mother is Jewish. I am Jewish.”

    Koch explained that he had been moved that Pearl chose to affirm his faith and heritage in his last moments.

    I did not know that about Daniel Pearl’s last words — or Ed Koch’s choice to use them on his memorial. Weep in prophetic agony… Lord have mercy.

  10. Johnny Dubya

    Koch-tombstone.jpgNote what is engraved in the stone directly below the Daniel Pearl quote: “Daniel Pearl, 2002, just before he was beheaded by a Muslim terrorist”.

    That is so Koch.

  11. cbc

    May his remembrance be for a blessing.

  12. Daniel Halbach

    Jay Nordlinger did a interview with Koch as a pilot for a TV show.  I don’t know what ever happened to the show, but the pilot was great.  Can that be made available to Ricochet subscribers?

  13. Nicholas Di Iorio

    Ed Koch was a great New Yorker.  The Lord called him home on the day of the Centennial of one of his great causes, Grand Central Terminal.  He was part of the group along with Jackie Kennedy to Save Grand Central.

  14. Gödel

    HaShem loaned us one of His Chosen People for a time to help in tikkun olam and has now called him home. Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha’Olam Dayan Ha’Emet indeed.

  15. Group Captain Mandrake

    It saddens me that there is no son to say Kaddish for him.

  16. I’ll ask him. 

    NewRabble: Jay Nordlinger did a interview with Koch as a pilot for a TV show.  I don’t know what ever happened to the show, but the pilot was great.  Can that be made available to Ricochet subscribers? · 2 hours ago

  17. Charles Mark

    I came out of a cinema in Greenwich Village in the Summer of 1986, “Down By Law”, I think, was the movie. And there was Mayor Koch before me, hand extended and asking me to support his campaign to prevent cinemas raising ticket prices by a dollar,as threatened at the time. I guess it didn’t mean much to me then but in later years I have had enormous appreciation for his resolute advocacy of the cause of Israel. I am moved by what has been said here already. And I am proud to have shaken his hand.

  18. Eric Jablow
    Whiskey Sam: Koch had the best putdown I’ve ever heard.  He was arguing with someone and finally said, “I can explain it to you, but I can’t comprehend it for you.” · 12 hours ago

    I prefer the reason why Bella Abzug absolutely hated the man.  In a primary election for the Democratic nominee for a City Council seat, Bella Abzug lost. She even lost her home precinct. A reporter asked Ed how that could happen, and he replied, “Her neighbors know her.” She never forgave him.

  19. Nanda Panjandrum

    Re: #15: Captain, you are right, of course, but it seems all of NYC – and much of the country – will lift him up in remembrance and prayer.  I know I shall.

  20. Group Captain Mandrake
    Nanda Panjandrum: Re: #15: Captain, you are right, of course, but it seems all of NYC – and much of the country – will lift him up in remembrance and prayer.  I know I shall. · 0 minutes ago

    Yes, there is that.  I’m just an “old softy” when it comes to this sort of thing (I’m not sure that “softy” is the right word in this context). 

    In the case of my uncle who also died childless, I was able to pick up that particular duty.

Want to comment on stories like these? Become a member today!

You'll have access to:

  • All Ricochet articles, posts and podcasts.
  • The conversation amongst our members.
  • The opportunity share your Ricochet experiences.

Join Today!

Already a Member? Sign In