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Raised in Newark, Ed Koch Became Iconic NYC Mayor

Koch died Friday of congestive heart failure. He was 88.

As mayor of New York City from 1978 to 1989, Ed Koch is credited with saving the nation's largest city from a near-financial collapse, but he got his start as a "hat-check boy" in his uncle's catering hall in Newark. 

Koch, who died Friday at age 88 of congestive heart failure, was born in the Bronx, but moved with his family to Spruce Street in Newark at the height of the Great Depression. 

While Koch went on to become a symbol of New York 'chutzpah' — smart, but loud and opinionated — he was quite the opposite during his years at Newark's South Side High School, his sister, Pat Thaler of Pompton Plains, told NJ.com. 

Thaler said he was studious and quiet and enjoyed his time in Newark, despite his often derogatory comments about the Garden State. 

"It wasn’t so much that he wasn’t fond of New Jersey," she said. "It’s just that he is such a consummate New Yorker that he couldn’t imagine being any other place," she said. 

Read the rest of the story at NJ.com. 

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