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"Larger-Than-Life" NYC Mayor Ed Koch Leaves Complex Legacy of Racial Tension, Social Programs

Email - Former New York City Democratic Mayor Ed Koch died Friday morning at the age of 88. He served three terms in office from 1978 to 1989. Koch is widely credited with rescuing the city from the brink of financial ruin, an achievement Democracy Now! co-host Juan González notes was also a result of sacrifices from labor unions. González describes Koch's mixed legacy, from his early days opposing the Vietnam War to his hostile relations with African Americans and Latinos, to the launch of a massive low-income housing program. Koch also took criticism for his handling of the early onset of HIV/AIDS in the city. He was known for his feisty demeanor which gave him a national reputation and sparked multiple political controversies. "He always sort of represented that combative spirit of New Yorkers," González says. "His most famous line was 'How am I doing?' And I think that people who look back now at his period of time will say 'Well, mayor, you did pretty well.'" Watch the Democracy Now! roundtable discussion about President Obama's proposed blueprint for immigration reform at To watch the entire weekday independent news hour, read the transcript, download the podcast, search our vast archive, or to find more information about Democracy Now! and Amy Goodman, visit Democracy Now!, an independent global news hour that airs weekdays on 1100+ TV and radio stations Monday through Friday. FOLLOW DEMOCRACY NOW! ONLINE ...
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