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Former NYC Mayor Koch dies
2013-02-01

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Larry Kramer at a March 28, 1989, ACT UP demo in Manhattan. Photo by Rex Wockner


Ed Koch—the former New York City mayor who used the catchphrase "How am I doin'?"—died of congestive heart failure Feb. 1 at 88.

Koch, who was an attorney before he was involved in politics, was a U.S. congressman from 1968 until he ran for mayor of the city in 1977. He served three terms until David Dinkins defeated him in a Democratic primary. For two years starting in 1997, he was the judge on the syndicated show The People's Court.

The former mayor never married, and his sexuality was the subject of constant speculation. Playwright/LGBT-rights advocate Larry Kramer once told New York Magazine that Koch "was a closeted gay man, and he did not want in any way to be associated with [AIDS]," according to CNN.com .

Kramer, a longtime critic of Koch and his mishandling of the AIDS crisis in New York, did not want to comment in-depth about Koch's death, but did email his favorite comment, given to him by a friend: "Ding dong, the wicked witch is dead."

A funeral for Koch will take place Feb. 4.


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