TRIBUTES were paid yesterday to former New York city mayor Ed Koch, as family and friends attended his funeral in Manhattan.
Recalling Mr Koch as “brash and irreverent”, current New York mayor Michael Bloomberg said the man who governed the city during the late 1970s and 1980s must be “beaming” from all the attention created by his death. Mr Koch died on Friday of congestive heart failure at the age of 88.
“No mayor, I think, has ever embodied the spirit of New York City like he did,” Mr Bloomberg said.
Mr Bloomberg also noted that the funeral was being held near “a certain East River span” – referring to the 59th Street Bridge, renamed the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge in 2011.
Describing the bridge dedication ceremony, Mr Bloomberg drew laughter from the crowd as he recalled Mr Koch stood there for 20 minutes, yelling: “Welcome to my bridge!”
Former president Bill Clinton, who attended the funeral as the representative of president Barack Obama at the funeral, said the world was a better place because Mr Koch had “lived and served”.
“He had a big brain,” Mr Clinton, pictured left, said. “But he had a bigger heart.”