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Guest KJP

RIP Ed Koch (1924-2013) Did he save the American city?

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American cities were a mess in the 1970s. Perhaps none more so than America's largest city. I recall there being serious discussion in the nation's capital of letting New York City die. To see New York in all its glory, see movies like The French Connection, its sequel The Seven Ups, Taxi Driver, Fort Apache The Bronx, and even Saturday Night Fever.


Ed Koch refused to let New York die when he was elected months after the '77 blackout. But did he get too much credit or not enough?


While you ponder and discuss that, see this amazing interactive graphic:


"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities."-Voltaire

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Ed Koch: 12 Years as Mayor, A Lifetime in the Closet


His life and record as a public official have been reported in great detail in the wake of his death, and he has drawn praise from many –– including some former enemies –– for embodying and even “saving” his city, but his record on LGBT issues, which was mixed, and his response to AIDS, which was deplorable, has received notably short shrift.


While some in the gay community, including his friend Charles Kaiser, a journalist and author, have offered a defense of Koch’s silence on his sexual orientation, the verdict among many, many AIDS activists on the former mayor’s record on addressing the epidemic has been decisive and harsh.


“Ding dong, the wicked witch is dead,” wrote Larry Kramer, the co-founder of Gay Men’s Health Crisis and ACT UP, in an email. “He was not kind to us.”






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