Grave Mistake: NYC Mayor Ed Koch’s Tombstone Mistakenly Engraved With Wrong Birth Date

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ed-kochThe tombstone for former Mayor Ed Koch, who died in February after meticulously planning the details of his burial for years, was mistakenly engraved with the wrong birth date, NBC 4 New York has found.

The marker, which stands more than 5 feet tall and 6 feet wide, lists Koch’s birth date as Dec. 12, 1942, instead of 1924. The birth date on the headstone would have made him a child during World War II, even though the inscription notes he served in the armed forces during the war.

Koch, New York City mayor from 1978 to 1989, was buried in Trinity Church cemetery in Washington Heights after his death from congestive heart failure at age 88. The funeral was attended by top dignitaries, and featured remarks by former President Bill Clinton and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, among others.

The headstone mistake is particularly poignant because Koch so carefully planned his burial years before his death.

Read more at NBC NEWS.

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  1. Strange!
    He had it etched during his lifetime – just the deprture date was left for afterwards. If he didn’t accomplish much fromI 1924 until 1942 that would explain the corrected date of birth.

    WE need to make every day count!

  2. He had a part of the cemetery fenced off to create a “Jewish” cemetary. He was certainly not known to be religious in his life but it seems that he did consult with an Orthodox Rabbi concerning this. He only wanted to be buried in Manhatten and that was the only cemetery that had room.

  3. It must be realized and mentioned that, very unfortunately, despite the numerous positive items that he did accomplish as mayor, Edward Moore Koch was a very terrible person. This is because he was one of the foremost early pioneers of government support and recognition of Toeiva, and he utilized his 1977 – 1989 tenure as NYC Mayor to implement several major advances of this cause.

    In a 1989 radio interview, he openly stated: “I happen to believe that there is nothing wrong with [same gender marriage].” About a decade after leaving office, in a 1998 magazine interview, he proudly bragged: “The fact is, I did more on (the Toeiva Yenem Machla), and more to promote civil rights for (Toeiva) people, than any other mayor in the country.”

    When he entered office, he became the first NYC Mayor to march in the city’s yearly Toeiva (so-called) “Pride” Parade. As mayor, he appointed many openly Toeiva people to positions in his staff. In 1983, he established a whole Toeiva city department called: “Office of G— and L——- Health Concerns.”

    (See and

    Probably his biggest Toeiva program though, was in legislation. Right after his installation, he submitted to the City Council a bill giving full equal “rights” to Toeiva people and prohibitting all discrimination against them. The council though, voted against it. So the following year, he submitted the bill again, and again, the council voted against it.

    For each of the next several years, he would submit the bill and put heavy political pressure upon the council members to support it. However, each time, there was also fierce opposition to it that was voiced by the Orthodox Jewish communities and by the Roman Catholic communities. Almost every time, the bill was voted down in its committee. One time, it did pass its committee, but it was then voted down by the full council.

    By late 1985 though, the political make up had, unfortunately, changed. In a conversation I had with Rav Dovid Zweibel at that year’s Agudas Yisroel Convention, I well remember how he related that one of the key councilmen who was opposed to Toeiva had resigned and was replaced by someone who was PRO-Toeiva. It was thus obvious that, upon the next confrontation, the bill was going to be passed.

  4. (continuation of my previous comment)

    It is noteworthy that, that time of when the Toeiva bill was finally passed in March, 1986, was also the time of, L’Havdil, the Histalkus of the very greatest of the Torah leaders of that entire era. B’Ezras Hashem, I will relate it this way.

    The date for the committee vote on the bill was on a Monday. That morning after Shacharis in the Mirrer Yeshiva in Brooklyn, one of my colleagues mentioned to me that there was a “B’sura Rara” – a rumor going around that something terrible had happened. The speculation in my mind of what the rumor was lasted for only a couple of minutes, for then, the Mashgiach Koton, Rav Yisroel Fishman, Sh’lita, came over to the main entrance of the Beis Medrosh. Without saying a word, he taped onto the door a small piece of paper, on which was written that on that morning, at Yeshiva Torah Vodaas, there would be the Levaiya of Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky, ZT’L.

    That afternoon at the committee vote, the bill DID pass the committee. Ten days latter, on the Wednesday of the following week, was the full council vote, at which the bill was passed.

    Five days latter, on Sunday night, I was sitting in the room that was next to the room I used in the dormitory. One of my roommates came in and asked if he could use the telephone; of course, I replied in the affirmative. Evidently, he was calling his parents; in just a few seconds, I heard him say to them some of the very most painful words I would hear in my entire life (immediately after saying them, he himself began sobbing):


  5. (continuation of my previous comment)

    As is well known, in the subsequent years, the Toeiva thingy has gone way, way, way past the cause of giving the Toeiva people equal (so-called) “rights.” Among many items, the three biggest current Toeiva issues probably are:

    1.) Toeiva Adoptions – That Toeiva people should be completely able to fully adopt children

    2.) Toeiva Education – That all elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and colleges, must teach ALL students — from age five through twenty-five — to fully recognize and accept Toeiva as a completely legitamite and “normal” part of life. (For detailed write-ups on this problem see and

    3.) Toeiva Marriages – That all government agencies, business establishments, educational institutions, medical offices, etc. — in other words, all of human society — must fully recognize and accept Toeiva (so-called) “marriages” as being completely legitamite “normal” marriages and grant Toeiva (so-called) “married” pairs the full honors and legal benefits of married couples.


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