Ed Koch, the outspoken mayor of New York for most of the 1980s, died Friday at New York–Presbyterian Hospital of congestive heart failure. He was admitted Thursday to the intensive care unit after admitting he felt tired.
"New York City has lost an irrepressible icon," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement this morning.
While beloved by most, Koch, who served three mayoral terms, was recently seen in a different light in the documentary How to Survive a Plague. Dodging rumors of homosexuality, he found himself under fire during the beginning of the AIDS epidemic and was publicly criticized by Normal Heart playwright and AIDS activist Larry Kramer for not doing more to stop the spread of AIDS in New York. "He was a closeted gay man, and he did not want in any way to be associated with this," Kramer declared to New York magazine. Koch refused to address the matter. "Listen, there's no question that some New Yorkers think I'm gay, and voted for me nevertheless. The vast majority don't care, and others don't think I am. And I don't give a **** either way!" he told to New York in 1988.
His funeral will be held Monday in New York.
More details to come.