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Tough and fast-talking New York mayor Ed Koch dies

Published on Feb 1, 2013 11:21 PM

NEW YORK (AFP) - Ed Koch, the tough, fast-talking mayor of New York in the turbulent 1970s and 1980s and credited with rescuing the nation's largest city from financial ruin, died Friday, aged 88.

Koch, a witty and larger than life figure who remained a frequent public presence up to his last days, had been suffering heart and other health problems.

The current mayor, Michael Bloomberg, praised Koch as a "tireless, fearless and guileless civic leader" for his role in pulling New York back from the brink of financial collapse in the late 1970s.

"Ed helped lift the city out of its darkest days and set it on course for an incredible comeback," Bloomberg said, ordering flags to be lowered to half-mast.

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