Ed Koch: Former NYC Mayor Dead at 88

The former mayor of New York City dies after a long life in the public eye.
3:46 | 02/01/13

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Transcript for Ed Koch: Former NYC Mayor Dead at 88
We have some breaking news to bring you would just learned that former New York City mayor Ed Koch. Has passed -- was 88 years old of course he served. I -- New York City as the mayor from 1978. Until 1989. And was still such a strong political force. And quite a character and so beloved by both. Sides of the political aisle and by the city and the nation -- here's ABC seven's -- -- Williams. We don't know yet the sacrifices. All of us will have to make. To get this city back on its -- Pain and sacrifice. That's what newly elected mayor Ed Koch prepared New Yorkers for an election night back in 1977. He was about to become the city's a 105 mayor. The city was broke crime was up and those subways were a mess you can -- that the people of this city. Even during a political campaign cynics declared the city couldn't be governed. But Ed Koch went to work he slashed budgets to restore the city's credit making the Big Apple solvent again. But more importantly he changed the mood of the city. Joking with people on the street and offering his trademark breeding I. -- though changed again when transit workers went on strike in April of 1980. Mayor Koch stood his ground. Let's have gone through in the -- and the parents think you're shelling. You can forget the image of -- greeting commuters as they walked across the Brooklyn Bridge the strike lasted eleven days. And in the end he defeated the union they're making it possible for -- city. Stand up and do what's right. Ed Koch was always -- to stand up for what he believed in. He was born in 1924 in the -- senior section of the Bronx to parents of polish Jewish descent. He entered politics is a liberal. Elected to City Council and then congress. At 140 ran for governor. But -- low for the city may have cost him the job when he told a reporter with Playboy magazine that rural areas were a joke. And the quote living in Albany would be a fate worse than death. Koch was never one to mince words and often those words came back to haunt him. But voters still elected into a third term as mayor thank yeah thank you very much by the late eighties though voters were growing -- -- Koch is third term were shaken by scandal and -- upset African American voters with his criticism of Jesse Jackson. Costs further inflamed racial tensions following the brutal murder of the young black man Yusuf -- By a group of white men in Bensonhurst. At the time many in the black community felt Koch was insensitive. When he spoke out against the people who took to the streets protesting the racial violence. In 1989. -- fourth term that -- wanted so much eluded him. He lost the democratic primary to David Dinkins. This job is special. New moon impact in the lives of people. And they have an opportunity -- tell you if they like it'd just like. So. It's irreplaceable. I -- Ed -- Koch remained extremely active after leaving office even with failing health he was out campaigning for mayor Bloomberg's reelection for a third term. He wrote books and newspaper columns and appeared on TV shows and movies so often portraying himself. It also found -- but you can't hire. After all. It was -- home he relished the -- Diana William's channel seven Eyewitness News.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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