Most people will remember Ed Koch as a crusader for New York, but to me he will always be the person who saw a crisis, stood for his convictions and spoke out on behalf of refugees in a far away country because he knew it was right thing to do.
Jacques Chirac was elected mayor of Paris in 1977; Edward Koch was elected mayor of New York in 1978. The two were destined to meet just a few years later when Koch made a week-long visit to Paris -- specifically, to find out how another great metropolis was run.
To some, Mayor Koch will be remembered as the signer of our nation's first pooper-scooper law. To others, it will be his extraordinary work creating affordable housing in New York City. To me, it was being asked to help trace his Jewish family history and genealogy.
On Wednesday morning, just after the premiere of Neil Barsky's documentary Koch, the news came on a television crawl: Ed Koch had missed the party, hospitalized. And this morning, on the film's opening day, he has died.