He was much more entertaining and a lot less totalitarian than the current mayor. Murray Rothbard once wrote of him:
Koch [...]was a typically loud-mouth, perpetually kvetching (complaining) and egomaniacal New Yorker, in politics a "moderate" (English translation: left neocon).According to AP (via Poynter)
[His cemetery] marker will bear the Star of David and a Hebrew prayer, “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.” It also will be inscribed with the last words of journalist Daniel Pearl before he was murdered by terrorists in 2002: “My father is Jewish. My mother is Jewish. I am Jewish.”
Koch explained that he had been moved that Pearl chose to affirm his faith and heritage in his last moments.Not a surprise for an NYC mayor, but NYT notes:
He was overwhelmed by corruption scandals in his administration [...] No one accused Mr. Koch of any wrongdoing. Most of the accused were not his appointees, and none were senior advisers; he had always kept a distance from his commissioners, letting them run their departments with relative independence.Koch served 3 terms from 1978 to 1989.