Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch died of congestive heart failure early Friday morning, People reports. He was 88.
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Koch, who had long battled cardiac issues, had been hospitalized since Monday for fluid buildup in his lungs. He was moved to the intensive care unit at New York Presbyterian/Columbia Hospital on Thursday.
Koch served three terms as New York City mayor, from 1978 to 1989, and helped lead the city through the financial crisis in the '70s. Throughout his life, Koch never lost his passion for the city. In a recent questionnaire with Vanity Fair
Koch said, "At age 88, I wake up every morning and say to myself, 'Well, I'm still in New York. Thank you, God.'"
His death comes three days after a documentary about him, Koch
, premiered. His hospitalization forced him to miss the film's premiere on Tuesday. The documentary will open in limited release on Friday.
Born Edward Irving Koch in 1924, Koch grew up in Newark, N.J., before his family moved to Brooklyn in 1941. He went on to serve in World War II before attending New York's City College for his undergraduate studies and later New York University for law school.
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Koch was first elected to City Council in 1967. He moved on to the House of Representatives two years later, where he stayed until 1973.
Even in public office, Koch remained as colorful as ever. Known as Hizzoner, Koch even had a catchphrase: "How'm I doin.'"
After his final term as mayor, Koch went on to host The People's Court
in the late '90s, wrote many books, had his own newspaper column and returned to practicing law.
Koch will be buried in Manhattan's Trinity Cemetery since, according to his 2008 interview with The New York Times
, "the idea of leaving Manhattan permanently irritates me."