Ed Koch, who served three terms as the mayor of New York City from 1978 to 1989, passed away this morning. According to his spokesman, George Arztthe 88-year-old Koch died due to congestive heart failure around 2 a.m. at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Yesterday, he was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit after having been in the hospital since Monday.

Koch was linked to corruption scandals and racial tensions in the city, but as the New York Times explains, he was responsible for saving it from bankruptcy during the 1970s and helping it flourish in the 1980s. The Bronx native also appeared in several films and on multiple television shows including The Muppets Take ManhattanSpin CitySex and the City, Saturday Night Live and served as the judge on The People's Court from 1997 to 1999.

[via Gothamist]