Ed Koch served three terms as mayor of New York City, and all of them were marked with controversy. He rose to power around the time when crack-cocaine, homelessness, and AIDS were running rampant in the city and made some highly talked-about decisions regarding the police force and his personal life. And throughout his time as mayor, his major accomplishments–bringing the city back financially, changing the housing issues in a serious way–were marred by what some called a corrupt system.
Koch was a no-nonsense man whose manner turned many off, but some found it to be just what their city needed. Over his time in office he cracked down on spending, welfare, and made harsh job cuts in order to bring financial repair to New York; however, he failed to step up when it came to the drug epidemic on the streets and stood helplessly by as AIDS wracked the city, claiming thousands of lives. His relationship with the black community was widely regarded as non-existent, and after three terms, many said he lost a substantial amount of voters by speaking out against Jesse Jackson, who was running for president at the time.
After suffering a stroke in the mid-’80s, Koch dealt with numerous health problems and was recently hospitalized with fluid in his lungs. The illness came right as he was about to celebrate the release of a documentary about his life, “Koch”, in New York. He passed away Friday morning of congestive heart failure.