The Washington Times - February 1, 2013, 03:49PM

President Obama hailed former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, who died Friday at age 88, as “an extraordinary mayor, irrepressible character, and quintessential New Yorker.”

“He took office at a time when New York was in fiscal crisis, and helped his city achieve economic renewal, expand affordable housing, and extend opportunity to more of its people,” Mr. Obama said. “In public office and beyond, his energy, force of personality, and commitment to causes ranging from civic issues to the security of the state of Israel always informed and enlivened the public discourse.”

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The president said he and first lady Michelle Obama were sending their thoughts and prayers to Mr. Koch’s loved ones, “and to the city that survives him.”