Ed Koch Dies at 88: His Life in Photos

The firebrand former mayor died on Friday at age 88. See photos from his life.

NY Daily News Archive, via Getty; AP; The New York Times, via Redux

NY Daily News Archive, via Getty; AP; The New York Times, via Redux

Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch died early Friday morning. He was 88. A Bronx native, Koch first entered politics in 1967 on the City Council, representing Greenwich Village in Manhattan. He went on to serve in Washington in the House of Representatives from 1969 until 1978, but his real fame came from his three terms as New York City mayor. Taking office in 1978, Koch led the city out of a grim decade by rescuing the city from bankruptcy and implementing tough crime-fighting measures. But he left an uncertain legacy: his third term was marred by corruption and internal scandals as well as the lasting legacy of the AIDS crisis in his own neighborhood—not to mention questions about his own sexuality that he always refused to answer. After leaving office in 1989, Koch spent two years as a judge on The People’s Court, and he practiced private law. A film about his time in office, titled simply Koch, premieres Friday—the same day he died.

Suzanne Vlamis/AP

Koch as the Democratic candidate for New York City mayor at a news conference in Manhattan in 1977.

The New York Times, via Redux

Riding a New York City subway in an undated photo.

Charles Ruppmann/NY Daily News Archive, via Getty

Koch makes a victory statement after winning his first term in office in 1977.

D. Gorton/The New York Times, via Redux

Koch gives a homeless man a dollar after his inauguration as mayor in 1978.

Ray Stubblebine/AP

Koch makes his concession speech after losing the Democratic gubernatorial primary election to New York Lt. Gov. Mario Cuomo in 1982.

Mario Suriani/AP

The New York Mayor raises his arms in victory at the Sheraton Centre in New York after winning the Democratic primary in his bid for a third four-year term.

G. Paul Burnett/AP

 Koch gestures with his Michael Jackson style glove during the MTV video awards ceremony. September 1984 in New York.

David Bookstaver/AP

Koch gets his head powdered by a make-up artist before the start of his new television call-in program, "Koch on Call" at New York's Channel 5 in 1987.

Thomas Monaster/NY Daily News via Getty

Mayor Ed Koch listening to music on radio in Central Park. (Photo By: Thomas Monaster/NY Daily News via Getty Images)

Dith Pran/The New York Times, via Redux

Walking at the 2nd Ave. Fair in Manhattan, undated.

Marty Lederhandler/AP

Koch and Sharpton met in 1998 to discuss complications facing nonviolent criminals returning to society after spending time in prison.

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Former New York mayor Ed Koch talks about the Democratic primary race between New York state senator Adriano Espaillat and Rep. Charlie Rangel in 2012.

Catherine McGann/Getty

Koch at a parade in September 1999 in New York City.

Mike Albans/NY Daily News Archive, via Getty

Former Mayor Ed Koch, former Mayor David Dinkins and Mayor Michael Bloomberg chat as they attend women's final match at the U.S. Open.

JP Yim/Getty

Koch poses during the renaming of the Queensboro Bridge in his honor at The Water Club Restaurant on May 19, 2011, in New York City.