Friends, luminaries remember Ed Koch at funeral

Ed Koch Funeral
Ed Koch laid to rest on February 4th, 2013.
Credit: Getty Images

Politicians, friends and a grandniece and grandnephew spoke at the funeral of former mayor Ed Koch this morning.

The funeral began at 11 a.m., with generations of family members sharing memories at the Temple Emanu-El.

Former president Bill Clinton and Mayor Michael Bloomberg were among the politicians that heaped praise on the former mayor.

His relatives also spoke movingly about “Uncle Ed,” with his grandniece speaking about writing a paper admiring him for a class project, and his grandnephew recalling when Koch got his first manicure at age 87.

“His photograph still hangs in the salon,” grandnephew Noah Thayer said.

Clinton held up letters he said Koch wrote him when he was president, imploring him about issues like crime.

And Koch’s law partner, Jim Gill, joked about when people on the street told Koch to run again for mayor.

“No, the people threw me out, and now the people must be punished,” Koch replied, according to Gill.

Bloomberg appeared to get choked up at times, beginning by saying, “I come today with the love and condolences of 8.4 million New Yorkers who really are grieving with you.”

He added, “Ed, on the other hand, has got to be loving all this attention.”  Bloomberg told a story about renaming the 59th Street bridge as the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge.

They shot a promotional video with Koch yelling to people crossing, “Welcome to my bridge!”

“What most people don’t know is, after the cameras stopped rolling, Ed stayed out there in the freezing cold for another 20 minutes yelling,” Bloomberg said.

He lauded Koch’s ability to take on affordable housing while leading the city in arts, culture and equal rights.  Bloomberg also spoke about the advice Koch gave.

“He said, ‘Be yourself, say what you believe and don’t worry about what people think,’” Bloomberg said. “And God knows he didn’t worry about it.”

Many spoke about Koch’s love for the city, saying he never wanted to be anywhere else. Once, Bloomberg said, he was asked if there was another place he could see himself.

“The only place I would ever accept is heaven,” Bloomberg recounted him saying. He added, invoking the former mayor’s signature question, “It’s not hard to picture Ed getting up to heaven, meeting God and saying to God with a big smile, ‘How’d I do?’”

His coffin was carried out to a soft musical rendition of “New York, New York.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Actor Tracy Morgan wasn't wearing seatbelt in June…

By Jonathan Stempel(Reuters) - Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan and others in his limousine were not wearing seat belts when their vehicle was struck by…

National

Connected cars: Is AT&T leaving Verizon in its…

By Marina Lopes and Bernie WoodallWASHINGTON/DETROIT (Reuters) - Verizon Communications, the No.1 U.S. wireless carrier known for its widespread coverage, is falling behind its biggest…

Local

Grand jury begins hearing evidence in Eric Garner…

A grand jury began hearing evidence Monday relating to the death of Eric Garner while in police custody in July. Garner, 43, of Staten Island,…

Local

Mayor announces plan for solar panels at city…

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the planned installation of 24 new solar panels at city schools on Monday morning. The panels, a $28 million investment,…

Going Out

Taste what Lower Manhattan is cooking at today's…

The Lower Manhattan food scene has changed a lot in three years, which you can taste first hand when the neighborhood's food festival returns. On…

Television

Review: 'Selfie' tries to coast on the charm…

"Selfie" offers cute leads and some good jokes, but focuses too much on a vague distaste for social media.

Movies

Review: Jason Reitman's 'Men, Women & Children' is…

Jason Reitman's "Men, Women & Children" takes a hysterical and melodramatic look at disconnection in the digital age, turning strong actors into zombies.

Television

TV watch list, Monday, Sept. 29: 'Castle,' 'Mom'…

Tune in for the season premieres of "Castle," "Mom" and "NCIS: Los Angeles."

NFL

Ryan Quigley making a big impact for Jets…

Ryan Quigley, now in his second year as the Jets punter, had an exceptional afternoon with six punts for an average of 51.7 yards per punt.

NFL

3 positives to take from Jets loss to…

The Jets suffered another loss Sunday — 24-17 to the Lions — but the reason why it hurts so much for Jets fans is that…

MLB

Joe Girardi not confident David Robertson will return…

David Robertson was as seamless as anyone could be replacing Mariano Rivera as he converted 39 saves, with a 3.08 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 64 1/3 innings.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony preaches patience with new coach, offense

While star forward Carmelo Anthony said he’s “enthusiastic” and “optimistic” for the upcoming season, he still wants everyone — from within the locker room and…

Education

How to ace your private school interview

Getting ready for a private school interview can be daunting for many, most of whom might never have been in an interview situation before. We’ve…

Education

5 questions parents should ask while visiting private…

It can be hard to know what to look for when searching for a new school for your child. Parents considering several different schools can…

Education

3 ways to save money on college application…

With the average high school student applying to 5 or 6 schools, hefty application and test score fees can add up quickly. We’ve compiled some…

Education

Nap rooms: The latest college campus trend

College is a time filled with new experiences (and lots of schoolwork), leaving little time for students to get a good night’s rest. University of…