Updated 02/02/2013 09:15 AM
Former Mayors Dinkins, Giuliani Reflect On Former Mayor Ed Koch's Life
Together, the three of them led New York for almost a quarter of a century. With the passing of former Mayor Ed Koch Friday, former Mayors David Dinkins and Rudolph Giuliani remembered him. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.
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It was a rare sight.
Three former rivals, former mayors Ed Koch, David Dinkins and Rudolph Giuliani, were together in 2009, when the Yankees last won the World Series.
On Friday, after Koch died, Dinkins and Giuliani reflected.
"I think his legacy will be constantly being optimistic, no matter how bad things are, and constantly looking for solutions," Giuliani said. "Because he had to govern the city during some pretty really bad times."
"Ed is Ed," Dinkins said. "He could do or say almost anything, and we would all shrug and say, 'Oh well, that's Ed.'"
They had known each other for years. Their political paths crossed in 1989, when they all ran for mayor. Koch was running for a fourth term. His third term was dogged by corruption investigations into his political allies, led by Giuliani, who was then U.S. Attorney.
"Several times, the press tried to create the, 'Well, if there's so much corruption around him, he must have been involved,'" Giuliani said. "And I did something unusual for a U.S. Attorney. I just made an announcement that there's no evidence of any kind that the mayor is involved in this, and the mayor is an honest man."
Still, Dinkins beat Koch in the 1989 Democratic primary.
"He was not nearly as popular toward the end as he had been initially," Dinkins said. "Somebody was going to run against him."
Dinkins beat Giuliani in the general election, but Giuliani won the rematch four years later with Koch's endorsement, which he credited with bringing him over the top.
The warmth didn't last. Koch published a book about Giuliani in 1999 called "Nasty Man".
"Well, it never makes you feel good when someone writes something bad about you," Giuliani said. "But I always understood Ed. I understood that things would set him off."
That's what many people remember about Koch. He had strong opinions, and he wasn't afraid to share them.