His style was brash and it was all New York! Edward Irving Koch is being laid to rest today. He died Friday at age 88 of congestive heart failure. Koch, a three-term mayor from 1978 to 1989, was a friend to the media, always good for a quote.
Rich Lamb covered Koch’s entire run as mayor for WCBS-AM. Although Koch was ill for the past several months, getting shuttled in and out of the hospital, Lamb was not fully prepared to learn of his passing.
“The phone went off at 6:15 [a.m.], and the first thing I heard was my own obit that I recorded yesterday because we decided we’d better have something ready to go,” Lamb tells FishbowlNY.
The situation appeared grave when Koch was transferred to the ICU at New York Presbyterian-Columbia Hospital.
Before Lamb could wipe the sleepy dust from his eyes, there was a live report awaiting him on WCBS at 6:20.
“As I began to speak on the air I choked up and it really surprised me,” Lamb admits.