Koch was mayor of NYC from 1978 to 1989, when the city was recovering from a fiscal crisis that led to near-bankruptcy. The controversial Koch ran on "law and order," and once elected cut costs and balanced the city budget. "He restored the arc of our city's history," mayor Michael Bloomberg said at the funeral. "Thanks to him we became great again."
Former President Bill Clinton, who served as a representative for President Barack Obama at the funeral, said of Koch, "He had a big brain. But he had a bigger heart."
Helicopters circled over the funeral as New York City Police stood in attendance along with celebrities and politicians.