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Mayor Ed Koch Remembered As The Embodiment Of New York City

Ed Koch in Mayor Michael Bloomberg's 2012 State of the City Video

Ed Koch in Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 2012 State of the City Video

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City woke up Saturday morning without one of its most recognizable and beloved figures.

Former Mayor Ed Koch passed away on Friday. He was 88 years old. And although he had not served in public office since 1989, he was always known as Mr. Mayor.

Credited with bringing the city back from the brink of bankruptcy, and cleaning up the streets, Koch’s tenure as mayor was marked with huge successes and setbacks, reported CBS 2’s Alice Gainer.

The place he called home for 11 years began the tributes Friday, with flags ordered to fly at half-staff at City Hall, and across the five boroughs.

A moment of remembrance was also held at the Knicks game Friday evening.

Koch’s funeral is coming up on Monday at Temple Emanu-El, 1 E. 65th St. The funeral was set for 11 a.m. Monday, and will be open to the public. Mayor Michael Bloomberg will give the eulogy.

The NYPD was already putting out barriers outside the temple Saturday morning.

Thousands can be expected to crowd the streets for the memorial service.

Spokesman George Arzt said Koch died at 2 a.m. at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia hospital of congestive heart failure.

Koch was moved to intensive care on Thursday after being admitted to the hospital on Monday with shortness of breath. He had just been released from the hospital last week after being treated for water in his lungs and legs.

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Koch’s admiration for New York City sprang to the minds of many right away.

“What a great city,” he said. “Very few like it – in fact, there’s none.”

Likewise, many pointed out that there was no one else quite like Ed Koch.

“He was a gentleman – a great, great gentleman – and I love him and I miss him,” said Alex Fuzayalov, Koch’s barber.

Since word of Koch’s death Friday, stories have been pouring in from all over, from current Mayor Michael Bloomberg to those who knew him best.

“What you saw was what you got,” said spokesman Arzt.

Arzt delivered Koch’s funeral plans to City Hall on Friday. He was one of the last to speak with the late mayor.

“He had a raspy voice. He struggled for words, and I asked him how he was doing, and he said he was beleaguered and tired,” Arzt said. “Shortly afterwards, he went into the ICU.”

Koch was known for the remark, “How am I doin’?”

The lifelong bachelor and former Congressman spent 12 years in office. Only four people have ever been elected mayor of the City of New York three times.

“It was a mission for him to the people of New York,” said Koch’s rabbi and friend, Rabbi Arthur Schneier.

After losing to David Dinkins for a fourth time, Koch went on to radio shows and supplanted Judge Joseph Wapner on “The People’s Court.” He also took to the lecture service.

In 2011, the city even renamed the Queensboro Bridge in Koch’s honor.

Schneier said even though Koch may be gone physically, he will always be part of the city he made so great.

“It will never be said Ed Koch is dead,” Schneier said. “Ed Koch lived.”

A private burial will be held after the funeral Monday, at Trinity Church Cemetery at 155th Street and Riverside Drive.

On Tuesday, Mayor Bloomberg said a private shiva will be held at the Gracie Mansion.

Please leave your memories of Mayor Koch below…