Speaker Silver Statement on the Passing of Mayor Ed Koch

February 1, 2013
It is with great sadness that I mourn the passing of the inimitable Ed Koch. Born and educated in New York City, the son of Jewish immigrants, a staunch supporter of Israel, Ed was a man I respected and a friend I treasured.

We served the people of Lower Manhattan together, and I remember fondly walking the neighborhoods with Ed and witnessing the charisma and empathy he brought to every encounter. I am proud to have had him as my congressman and mayor.

Ed's path through life led from the Bronx to the battlefields of Europe back to the skyscrapers of Manhattan. He was a visionary who used his political acumen to bring his dreams to fruition and to blaze a trail wide enough for a generation of New Yorkers to follow.

The resolve with which he fought for his city, state, and country forged an admirable legacy. Thanks to his leadership as mayor, the City was transformed. From restoring fiscal stability, to building affordable housing, Ed's mayoralty fueled a metropolitan renaissance.

A decorated veteran, Ed never hesitated when it came to fighting necessary battles. He went to war when his country called him. He served the people as a City councilman, congressman, and mayor, and remained a devoted public servant long after his time in office. Looking at the tenacity with which he continued to advocate for the issues dear to his heart - transparency in government, access and equality for the citizens of this city and state - one could argue that Ed never left office.

Although our opinions sometimes diverged, I will miss his colorful character, his bold spirit, and his sharp wit. A great New Yorker has passed away this morning. May he rest in peace.