Ed Koch, Three-Time New York City Mayor, Dies At 88 Of Congestive Heart Failure

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February 1, 2013 11:06 PM EST

Edward I. Koch, a three-term mayor of New York who led the city's financial recovery in the 1970s, died early Friday of congestive heart failure, the Wall Street Journal said.

The achievements of the Bronx-born Democrat, who was being treated in New York-Presbyterian Columbia, include replacing the city's patronage appointment of judges with merit selections and launching $5.1 billino in city funded affordable housing construction to rebuild neighborhoods wiped out by arson.

Koch, who was born of Polish-Jewish immigrant parents, also faced down the city's transit workers in a 1980 strike that lasted 10 days and resulted in a raise for strikers that was far less than they had sought. His autobiography, "Citizen Koch," was published in 1992.

After his mayoralty, Koch emerged as a strong defender of Israel and a popular radio show host whose political independence was underscored in 2011 when he helped get a Republican candidate elected to Congress.

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