Remembering New York's Large-Than-Life Mayor, Ed Koch

Feb 2, 2013
Originally published on February 2, 2013 2:07 pm



This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.


ED KOCH: Hi, hi. How am I doing?

SIMON: Ed Koch, the former mayor of New York, died yesterday at the age of 88. He was as New York as a salt bagel with an extra schmear. I profiled him when he ran for re-election in 1981.


KOCH: Every time you go to, let's say, Yankee Stadium or Shea Stadium, to throw out the first ball - which the mayor does when the baseball season starts - so it's just automatic that they will boo you. What I - hi! - what I do is, I go right out there and in my head, I say they're really cheering me. And then I - as they're booing, I'll take off my baseball cap, and I'll bow. And then the boos get bigger 'cause they're part of the street theater. They know what I'm doing, and I know what they're doing, and it's just a lot of fun.

SIMON: And he was fun to travel with, from the Bronx to the Battery. But moments after our profile aired, Mayor Koch called and harangued me for 10 minutes, for including so many of his critics in the story. Then he suddenly stopped. Well, I've had my say, he said. Now, how are you?

New York politics was his Yankee Stadium, and Ed Koch loved the game. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.