Friday, February 01, 2013

Celebrity Friday (bonus): Ed Koch Is Dead at 88

Ed Koch, the 3-term Mayor of New York City who was vilified by AIDS and gay activists during his tenure for the lack of an urgent response to the epidemic in the 1970s and 1980s by the City while it was under his leadership as a closeted gay man, died on Friday at age 88.

The New York Times ran an extensive obituary in today's edition of the paper:
His political odyssey took him from independent-minded liberal to pragmatic conservative, from street-corner hustings with a little band of reform Democrats in Greenwich Village to the pinnacle of power as New York City’s 105th mayor from Jan. 1, 1978, to Dec. 31, 1989. Along the way, he put an end to the career of the Tammany boss Carmine G. De Sapio and served two years as a councilman and nine more in Congress representing, with distinction, the East Side of Manhattan.


Mr. Koch, for whom the headline “Hizzoner” seemed to have been coined, was a bachelor who lived for politics. Perhaps inevitably there were rumors, some promoted by his enemies, that he was gay. But no proof was offered, and, except for two affirmations in radio interviews that he was heterosexual, he responded to the rumors with silence or a rebuke. “Whether I am straight or gay or bisexual is nobody’s business but mine,” he wrote in “Citizen Koch,” his 1992 autobiography.


Mr. Koch was also harshly criticized for what was called his slow, inadequate response to the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. Hundreds of New Yorkers were desperately ill and dying in a baffling public health emergency, and critics, especially in the gay community, accused him of being a closeted homosexual reluctant to confront the crisis for fear of being exposed.
It's definitely worth going to go read the whole thing yourself...

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin