• PATRICK J. CASHIN/Wikimedia Commons
  • Ed Koch

I’m not going to pretend that I was a big fan of the way Mayor Ed Koch ran New York City during his reign from 1977 to 1989.

But I’ve got to admit—that guy mesmerized me. I found him exceedingly fun to watch, even from afar.

In some ways, he reminded me of a New York version of our own Harold Washington.

He was a bombastic, combative, in-your-face, tell-you-what-he-thinks kind of mayor. Also, funny and articulate. Very much so.

“I’m the sort of person who will never get ulcers,” he once told reporters. “Why? Because I say exactly what I think. I’m the sort of person who might give other people ulcers.”

His press conferences were entertaining. He’d go off script to counterattack reporters when they asked tough questions. Like Mayor Washington or both Mayor Daleys with Chicago, he truly did represent the city he came from.

“I’m just this little Jewish kid from the Bronx,” he said more than once.

As for how he used his power . . .