WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is praising former New York Mayor Ed Koch as an "extraordinary mayor, irrepressible character, and quintessential New Yorker."

Koch died Friday of congestive heart failure at the age of 88.

Obama said Koch took office when New York was in a fiscal crisis and helped the city's economic revival. He applauded Koch's energy and force of personality. He took note of Koch commitment to causes, including Israel's security.

The topic of Israel created a rift between the president and Koch during Obama's first term, a rift that Koch said was patched after the president came out in a U.N. speech against the Palestinians' bid for statehood.

Obama said he and first lady Michelle Obama send prayers to Koch's loved ones "and to the city that survives him."

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  • Ed Koch On The Subway

    UNITED STATES - JANUARY 02: Mayor Ed Koch rides the subway. (Photo by Harry Hamburg/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

  • Ed Koch

    FILE - In this Sept. 24, 1982, file photo, New York Mayor Ed Koch makes his concession speech after losing the Democratic gubernatorial primary election to New York Lt. Gov. Mario Cuomo in New York. Koch, the combative politician who rescued the city from near-financial ruin during three City Hall terms, has died at age 88. Spokesman George Arzt says Koch died Friday morning Feb. 1, 2013 of congestive heart failure. (AP Photo/Ray Stubblebine, File)

  • Mario Cuomo, Edward Koch

    FILE - In this Sept. 16, 1977 file photo, Democratic Mayoral runoff candidates Mario Cuomo, left, and Edward Koch talk to reporters in New York during the taping of their debate for NBC-TV's "Positively Black" show. Koch died Friday, Feb. 1, 2013 from congestive heart failure, spokesman George Arzt said. He was 88. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler)

  • Ed Koch

    In this Sept. 11, 1985 file photo, New York Mayor Ed Koch raises his arms in victory at the Sheraton Centre in New York after winning the Democratic primary in his bid for a third four-year term. Koch died Friday, Feb. 1, 2013 from congestive heart failure, spokesman George Arzt said. He was 88. (AP Photo/Mario Suriani, file)

  • Ed Koch

    In this Sept. 7, 1981 file photo, New York City Mayor Ed Koch, center, gestures as he marches in a Labor Day parade down New York's Fifth Avenue. Koch died Friday, Feb. 1, 2013 from congestive heart failure, spokesman George Arzt said. He was 88. (AP Photo/Perez, file)

  • In this Aug. 13, 1987 file photo, New York Mayor Edward I. Koch waves to onlookers as he arrives at New York's Columbia Presbyterian Hospital Neurological Center. Koch died Friday, Feb. 1, 2013 from congestive heart failure, spokesman George Arzt said. He was 88. (AP Photo/David Bookstaver, file)

  • Ed Koch

    FILE - In this Aug. 21, 1997 file photo, former New York Mayor Ed Koch, now the presiding judge on "The People's Court," tapes a show at a New York studio. Koch died Friday, Feb. 1, 2013 from congestive heart failure, spokesman George Arzt said. He was 88. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file)

  • Ed Koch

    FILE - In this Nov. 8, 1977 file photo, Rep. Edward Koch, second from left, raises hands with Bess Myerson, left, Carol Bellamy, center Diana Goldin, second from right, and her husband Harrison Goldin at a Midtown New York Hotel. Koch was elected New York City Mayor, Miss Bellamy was elected city council President and Goldin was re-elected city comptroller. Koch, the combative politician who rescued the city from near-financial ruin during three City Hall terms, has died at age 88. Spokesman George Arzt says Koch died Friday morning Feb. 1, 2013 of congestive heart failure. (AP Photo/Ray Stubblebine, File)

  • Ed Koch

    FILE - In this Jan. 30, 1975, file photo, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, center left, and Bess Myerson, center right, walk with architect Philip Johnson, left, and Rep. Ed Koch, right, as they leave New York's Grand Central after holding a news conference for the "Committee to Save Grand Central Station." Koch, the combative politician who rescued the city from near-financial ruin during three City Hall terms, has died at age 88. Spokesman George Arzt says Koch died Friday morning Feb. 1, 2013 of congestive heart failure. (AP Photo/Harry Harris, File)

  • Ed Koch

    FILE - In this March 15, 1987 file photo, New York Mayor Ed Koch gets his head powered by a make-up artist before the start of his new television call-in program, "Koch on Call" at New York's Channel 5. Koch, the combative politician who rescued the city from near-financial ruin during three City Hall terms, has died at age 88. Spokesman George Arzt says Koch died Friday morning Feb. 1, 2013 of congestive heart failure. (AP Photo/David Bookstaver, File)

  • Ed Koch

    FILE - In this Feb. 2, 1978, file photo, New York Mayor Ed Koch, left, and former Rep. Bella Abzug, D-N.Y., center, chat with President Jimmy Carter during a meeting in the Oval Office in Washington. Koch, the combative politician who rescued the city from near-financial ruin during three City Hall terms, has died at age 88. Spokesman George Arzt says Koch died Friday morning Feb. 1, 2013 of congestive heart failure. (AP Photo/John Duricka, File)

  • Ed Koch

    FILE - In this March 1, 2011 file photo, former New York Mayor Ed Koch speaks during a news conference in Albany, N.Y. Koch, 88, has been moved to intensive care, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013. Spokesman George Arzt said that Dr. Joseph Tenenbaum, who's Koch's cardiologist and lead doctor, wanted to monitor the former mayor more closely. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

  • Ed Koch

    FILE - In this Dec. 10, 2012 file photo, former New York City Mayor Ed Koch says good-bye to reporters as he gets in his car after being released from the hospital in New York. A spokesman says Koch now expects to get out of the hospital on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013. Spokesman George Arzt said Friday that Koch originally expected to remain over the weekend at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia hospital. But doctors changed their minds and decided to let him out Saturday instead. He was admitted last Saturday night with fluid in his lungs and swollen ankles. Doctors have told the 88-year-old ex-mayor to limit his salt intake. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, file)

  • Ed Koch

    Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, right, speaks to reporters as he is released from the hospital in New York, Monday, Dec. 10, 2012. He was admitted last week to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital with pneumonia and the flu. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

  • Ed Koch, Rory Lancman

    FILE - In this May 16, 2012 file photo, former New York City mayor Ed Koch, right, talks to reporters as Assemblyman Rory Lancman looks on. Koch, 87, was admitted to New York Presbyterian Hospital with a respiratory infection on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012 and is being treated with antibiotics. It’s Koch’s second hospitalization in three months. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

  • Veteran's Day Parade Held In New York City

    NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 11: Former Mayor Ed Koch takes part in The Wreath Laying Ceremony during the Veteran's Day Parade on November 11, 2012 in New York City. Mayor Koch is the grand marshal for the parade, which expects to draw thousands of spectators and is the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the start of the Vietnam War. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

  • Gubernatorial Candidate Andrew Cuomo Campaigns In New York City

    NEW YORK - OCTOBER 05: New York Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo (L) laughs with former New York City mayor Ed Koch at a press conference at John Jay College October 5, 2010 in New York City. Koch, who had defeated Cuomo's dad, Mario, in the New York City mayoral race in 1977, endorsed Cuomo. Cuomo is engaged in a bitter battle with Republican Carl Paladino in the race. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

  • Historic House Trust of New York City Honors Former Mayor Edward I. Koch

    NEW YORK - JUNE 17: (L-R)Franny Eberhart, Joseph Pierson and Ed Koch attend the Historic House Trust of New York City Founders Award Dinner at Gracie Mansion on June 17, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Donald Bowers/Getty Images for Historic House Trust of New York City)

  • Michael Bloomberg Is Sworn In For Third Term As New York City Mayor

    NEW YORK - JANUARY 1: The crowd give applause for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg after he delivered his inaugural speech as Diana Taylor (L), his daughters Georgina Bloomberg (2nd-L) and Emma Bloomberg (R), former New York City Mayors David Dinkins (2nd row-2nd-R) and Ed Koch (2nd row-R) look on January 1, 2010 at City Hall in New York City. Bloomberg launched his third term in office. (Photo by Hiroko Masuike/Getty Images)

  • New York Yankees World Series Victory Parade

    NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: (L-R) Former New York City Mayors David Dinkins, Ed Koch, and Rudolph Giuliani talk prior to the start of the New York Yankees World Series Victory Celebration at City Hall on November 6, 2009 in New York, New York. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

  • The Cinema Society & Details Host A Screening Of "Milk" - After Party

    NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 18: Former New York City mayor Ed Koch attends the after party for a screening of 'Milk' hosted by The Cinema Society at Bowery Hotel on November 18, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

  • Former New York City mayors Rudy Giulian

    Former New York City mayors Rudy Giuliani (R) and Ed Koch (C) listen as US President George W. Bush speaks during an address on the financial markets and world economy November 13, 2008 at the Federal Hall National Memorial in New York City. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Brooke Astor's Funeral Service - New York

    NEW YORK - AUGUST 17: (L-R) New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former NYC Mayors David Dinkins and Ed Koch leave the church after funeral services for philanthropist Brooke Astor at St. Thomas Church on August 17, 2007 in New York City. Astor died on Monday, August 13, 2007 at age 105. (Photo by Donna Ward/Getty Images)

  • Publisher's Weekly Celebrates The Strand's 80 Years

    NEW YORK - JUNE 02: (L-R) Writer Adam Gopnik shakes hands with former NYC Mayor Ed Koch during Publisher Weekly's celebration party for Strand Bookstore's 80 years in business at Strand Bookstore on June 02, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Wintrow/Getty Images)

  • Publisher's Weekly Celebrates The Strand's 80 Years

    NEW YORK - JUNE 02: (R) Writer Fran Lebowitz speaks while former NYC Mayor Ed Koch listens during Publisher Weekly's celebration party for Strand Bookstore's 80 years in business at Strand Bookstore on June 02, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Wintrow/Getty Images)

  • Former New York mayors David Dinkins (L)

    New York, UNITED STATES: Former New York mayors David Dinkins (L) and Ed Koch (R) listen to US President George W Bush speak at Federal Hall 31 January 2007 New York, New York. Bush urged the opposition-held US Congress to renew his sweeping powers to negotiate trade deals before such authority lapses at the end of June. Bush called Trade Promotion Authority, which binds Congress to yes-or-no votes on any trade agreements he negotiates, 'essential' to global free trade talks and bilateral commercial deals. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • GOP Kicks Off RNC Convention

    NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 30: Former New York Mayor Ed Koch speaks during the opening session of the 2004 Republican National Convention August 30, 2004 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

  • The New York Times Welcomes The Republican National Convention

    NEW YORK - AUGUST 30: Former New York Mayor Ed Koch and former Governor of New York Mario Cuomo attend a party hosted by Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. publisher of the New York Times at the Frederick P. Rose Hall August 30, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Bowers/Getty Images)

  • The New York Times Welcomes The Republican National Convention

    NEW YORK - AUGUST 30: Ed Koch (L) and Abe Rosenthal attend a party hosted by Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. publisher of the New York Times at the Frederick P. Rose Hall August 30, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Bowers/Getty Images)

  • US Secretary of State Colin Powell (R) l

    BERLIN, GERMANY: US Secretary of State Colin Powell (R) looks on as Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch is seen in the background at a mayor OSCE international conference on anti-Semitism in Berlin 28 April 2004. Delegates to the conference warn that hatred of Jews is gaining momentum again in parts of Europe and call for united efforts in education and law enforcement to combat the problem. AFP PHOTO DDP/MICHAEL URBAN GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read MICHAEL URBAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Former New york City mayors Ed Koch (L)

    Former New york City mayors Ed Koch (L) and David Dinkins (C) talk with current NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg as they watch from the President's Box during the women's final at the 2003 US Open tennis championships at Flushing Meadows in New York, 06 September 2003. AFP PHOTO Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Koch, Bloomberg, and Dinkins at US Open

    FLUSHING, NY - SEPTEMBER 6: Former New York City Mayors Ed Koch (L) and David Dinkins (R) attend the US Open with current Mayor Michael Bloomberg (M) at the USTA National Tennis Center on September 6, 2003 in Flushing, New York. (Photo by M. David Leeds/Getty Images)

  • US First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton (R) and daugh

    NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: US First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton (R) and daughter Chelsea Clinton (L) wave to supporters before former New York mayor Ed Koch (background, center) following Mrs. Clinton's victory over Republican Congressman Rick Lazio in the New York senate race 07 November 2000 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Matt CAMPBELL (Photo credit should read MATT CAMPBELL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • St. Patrick's Day Parade

    N366199 04: First Lady and Senate hopeful Hillary Clinton talks to former New York City Mayor Ed Koch along the parade route of the St. Patrick's day parade in New York City, N.Y., March 17, 2000. (Photo by Chris Hondros)

  • Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch wears a Bill Br

    NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch wears a Bill Bradley hat as he rests on a park bench while waiting for Bradley, who was a half-hour late, to arrive at a campaign stop in Washington Square Park, 04 March, 2000, during a day of campaigning in New York City. The New York State primary is three days away on Super Tuesday, 07 March.AFP PHOTO/Matt CAMPBELL (Photo credit should read MATT CAMPBELL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch gestures as he

    NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch gestures as he answers questions from reporters at New York University Hospital 22 March, 1999. Koch was rushed to the hospital from the New York Sports Club where he was working out. Doctors said his blood pressure was very low but he is reported in stable condition. AFP PHOTO/Don EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch gestures to rep

    NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch gestures to reporters at New York University Hospital 22 March, 1999. Koch was rushed to the hospital from the New York Sports Club where he was working out. Doctors said his blood pressure was very low but he is reported in stable condition. AFP PHOTO/Don EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Queensboro Bridge Renamed In Honor Of Ed Koch

    NEW YORK, NY - MAY 19: Ed Koch celebrates at the renaming of the Queensboro Bridge in his honor at The Water Club Restaurant on May 19, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images)