(AP) – Reaction to death of former New York City Mayor Ed Koch:
“Ed Koch was an extraordinary mayor, irrepressible character, and quintessential New Yorker. … In public office and beyond, his energy, force of personality, and commitment to causes ranging from civic issues to the security of the state of Israel always informed and enlivened the public discourse.” _ President Barack Obama.
“He was a man whose convictions ran deep. You knew where Ed stood on any topic, and whether or not you agreed with him or what he said, you couldn’t help but like him.” _ Former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
“Ed Koch embodied the highest ideals of public service, and his life was dedicated toward making New York_ the city and our state _ a better place for all.” _ New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“In elected office and as a private citizen, he was our most tireless, fearless, and guileless civic crusader. Through his tough, determined leadership and responsible fiscal stewardship, Ed helped lift the city out of its darkest days and set it on course for an incredible comeback.” _ New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“Every atom in his body lived, breathed, spoke and exuded the city. He helped save the city and, perhaps most important of all, gave it confidence when it was beginning to doubt itself, which helped pave the way for the growth and prosperity we’re still experiencing today.” _ U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer
“Ed Koch personified the spirit of New York. New York’s mayor for life is now New York’s mayor for eternity. May he rest in peace.” _ U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y.
“Although we disagreed on politics … I have found that he was never a phony or a hypocrite. He would not patronize or deceive you. He said what he meant. He meant what he said. He fought for what he believed.” _ Rev. Al Sharpton, president of National Action Network.
“From his outspoken honesty, to his great New York accent, Hizzoner was larger than life. His wit, his wisdom, his candor and his irrepressible spirit will be sorely missed.” _ Former New York Gov. George Pataki.
“He helped a lot of people. … I have an appreciation of his work as a public servant.” _ The Rev. Jesse Jackson.
“He’s the guy who saved our city. He paid off the loans on the federal government, ahead of time. So he did a lot of good stuff.” _ Former New York City Mayor David Dinkins.
“He understood the real world. That’s why the public attached to him. There was nothing fake about him. Agree or disagree, he was as genuine as they come.” _ Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer.
“The world is a less interesting place now that Ed Koch has left us. When times were tough, he was tougher and his resilience, sense of humor and candor made him accessible to his millions of admirers.” _ New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
“He was a visionary who used his political acumen to bring his dreams to fruition and to blaze a trail wide enough for a generation of New Yorkers to follow.” _ New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
“The ties between New York and Israel, between the United States and Israel, are as strong as they are today because of towering figures such as Ed Koch.” _ The Consulate General of Israel in New York.
“He was a tiger, unafraid. He used say, `Alfonse, I’m a liberal, but a liberal with sanity.’ ” _ Former U.S. Sen. Alfonse D’Amato. “He once said, `I don’t want to leave Manhattan, even when I’m gone. This is my home.’ Ed Koch will never leave New York City. He will exist forever in our hearts, and in the millions of lives he touched.” _ New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
“New York would not be the safest big city in America today if Ed Koch hadn’t spearheaded one of the most important criminal justice reforms in New York City’s history as mayor: selecting Criminal Court judges based on merit instead of political connections.” _ Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr.
“We will miss his keen mind, sharp wit and absolute devotion to making a great city the best in the world. While we mourn his loss, we know that the legacy of his mayoralty, his commitment to civil rights and affordable housing, and his civic leadership long after he left City Hall, will live on for generations.” _ New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.
“In many ways Ed Koch never stopped being mayor. He was personally engaged in the issues of the day, including those involving the Police Department, frequently seeking information from us and offering his opinion personally and in writing.” _ New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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