Tombstone Claims Koch Was Born In 1942, Rather Than 1924

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Late Mayor Ed Koch was already a partner in a New York law firm when Mayor Michael Bloomberg was just a year out of college – so few would guess that Koch was actually the younger man.

He was not, of course.

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In fact, Koch was about 17 years’ Bloomberg’s senior. But a visitor to Koch’s gravesite would be led to believe otherwise, as a mistake on his grave marker would make him 10 months younger than Bloomberg, who was born Feb. 14, 1942.

Koch spokesman George Arzt confirmed to 1010 WINS on Monday that the engraver for Koch’s tombstone made a mistake – citing his date of birth as Dec. 12, 1942, rather than his actual birthdate of Dec. 12, 1924.

“The stone itself was done in 2007. They just had to inscribe the date of birth, date of death,” Arzt said. “And, unfortunately, the stone carver — who feels terribly, by the way – just transposed those two numbers.”

Arzt said the Trinity Church Cemetery in Washington Heights, where Koch was buried, was quick to come clean.

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“A representative of Trinity Church called us last week and told us about the mistake. The representative said, ‘Are you sitting?’” Arzt said. “And I knew it was not going to be good after that.”

As for how Koch would react, Arzt said he would have taken it in stride – at first.

“Ed is looking down and just chuckling,” Arzt said. “He probably would laugh, and then he would say, ‘Now George, you have to correct it.’ He always wanted the record corrected.”

Koch died on Feb. 1 at the age of 88. He served as mayor from 1978 through 1989.

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