TODAY | February 01, 2013
>> to grow up in new york city to know the name ed koch , who served as mayor for three terms from 1978 to 1989 and used his sometimes combative style to help rescue the city from near financial ruin.
>> i did grow up around here. he was a force. when you would come across a voter, he would always say, how am i doing? am i doing okay? he died overnight at new york presbyterian hospital here in the city where he made his mark with a larger than life personality. here is nbc's ron allen .
>> reporter: ed koch was a quintessential new yorker and one of the city's most popular and outspoken politicians, known for his no nonsense in your face colorful personality and his trademark question asked of friends and faoes alike, even on "saturday night live."
>> how am i doing?
>> reporter: edward irving koch was born in the bronx new york in 1984 , drafted out of college by the army to serve in world war ii . when he returned home, he began climbing the political ladder. a lifelong democrat, who served on new york city council, then three terms in the congress. and in 1977 , he became new york 's 105th mayor, a job koch often said he wanted for life. koch tool took over a city facing financial crisis and was credited with saving it from disaster. he was mayor for 12 years that were spirited, irreverent and rarely, if ever, boring. he lost to mario cuomo .
>> i promised i would never run for governor again.
>> you promised that before.
>> in 1989 he lost his bid for an unprecedented fourth term as mayor to david bicken.
>> i want you not to feel sorry for me. believe me, there is a life after mayorcy.
>> reporter: he never married nor had any children. he endure aid stroke, heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery after leaving office. he also wrote more than a dozen books, became an enthusiastic twitter user and came into the homes of many americans as the judge on "the people's court."
>> judgment for the plaintiff.
>> reporter: one former new york mayor said he wouldn't wish the position on his worst enemy but koch said it's the greatest job anyone could ever have. he was certainly an unbelievably colorful figure who dearly will be missed here in new york and around the state, around this country for that matter. flags will be flown at half-staff and funeral arrangements have been made, that service will be held here in manhattan on monday. matt?
>> thank you very much. and mr. mayor, thanks for everything. here is savannah.
>> matt, thanks.