Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch died early this morning of congestive heart failure. He was 88.
While his honor will always be known as the brash New Yorker who helmed the city in the late 1970s and 1980s, Koch was actually a son of New Jersey and was raised in Newark.
Koch, born in 1924, was employed as a hat check boy in a Newark dance hall. He graduated in 1941 from South Side High School before he was drafted into the Army.
Those who followed Koch’s career might see a resemblance to another Jersey boy politician, also born in Newark and also unapologetically pugilisitic.
“You punch me, I punch back,” Koch once said. “I do not believe it’s good for one’s self-respect to be a punching bag.”
RIP Mr. Mayor.