Former New York Mayor Ed Koch passed away on Friday after suffering from congestive heart failure. He was 88.
Koch was a flashy and active Mayor who liked to travel the streets of New York, asking his favorite question “how am I doing” while flashing the thumbs up.
While Koch was largely credited for pulling New York City out of fiscal disaster from 1978-1989, he was also criticized for not adequately responding to the HIV/AIDS crisis that came into full focus during his tenure. Koch was also criticized for not responding swiftly enough to New York City’s homelessness problems.
An adamant supporter of Gay right, Koch took on other politicians and even the Catholic church in his fight to secure proper standing for LGBT citizens.
His gay rights stance and his lifelong bachelorhood led to questions about his own sexuality to which he famously answered:
“My answer to questions on this subject is simply, ‘F— off.’ There have to be some private matters left.”
Koch left City Hall in January 1990 and spent the rest of his life battling health problems.
Following his death on Friday morning Twitter users were quick to react with kind words for the former New York Mayor.
Mayor Bloomberg was one of the first to respond:
NYC has lost an irrepressible icon and our most charismatic cheerleader. @mayoredkoch was a great mayor, a great man, and a great friend.
— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) February 1, 2013
Bloomberg was followed by Obama’s right hand man David Axelrod who tweeted:
As a cub reporter, I covered Ed Koch, then a liberal, anti-war Congressman. Love him or hate him, he was a NYC original!
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) February 1, 2013
But it wasn’t just politicians providing kind words for Ed Koch, regular Twitter users also jumped into the fray, here are several of their responses:
First #30Rock ends and today Mayor Ed Koch passes away. While I was working in NYC, I bumped into Koch at Balducci’s. Classy, inspiring man!
— Tommy (@TommyGSync) February 1, 2013
How’m I doin? (h/t Ed Koch, 1924-2013)
— Rob Pegoraro (@robpegoraro) February 1, 2013
Other Tweets focused on the more controversial aspects of Ed Koch’s time as New York City Mayor:
For those of you asking who is Ed Koch!He was the Mayor of NYC who failed to respond to a citywide AIDS epidemic or plague!
— Michael Yerxa (@mikeyerxa) February 1, 2013
Ed Koch is dead. I’m supposed to say RIP, right? Well, rest however the homeless and AIDS-stricken who died during his admin, are resting.
— Jen (@enjen99) February 1, 2013
In the end the best tweet was posted with the end quote from Ed Koch’s New York Times obit:
Best line of Koch obit in the NY Times comes at the very end: “Mr. Koch is survived by New York itself” nyti.ms/Wjq7RR
— David Chalian (@DavidChalian) February 1, 2013