On Friday, former mayor Ed Koch passed away at the age of 88. Three weeks prior to his death, the legendary New York City politician gave Piers Morgan what is believed to be his final interview, and in a tribute to the late leader, tonight the host will air portions of that interview during his 9 p.m. program.
Seated across from Koch on January 8, the British television presenter revealed the stigma surrounding New York prior to Koch's reign:
"When I first came here, I think in the mid-'70s, it was pretty rough," revealed the "Piers Morgan Tonight" host. "I mean, I felt pretty intimidated walking around as a young 13 or 14 year old in Central Park."
Understanding such a sentiment, Koch admits that it was "reasonable to feel that way."
Noting that things have changed quite a bit during the course of the last four decades, Morgan says that there has "been an extraordinary transformation under a succession of mayors, starting with you."
Shelving any humility, Koch gave himself a great deal of the credit:
"I will tell you frankly. I believe that I created the foundation. I changed the city of New York. I gave people back their morale. I built 250,000 housing units and affordable rentals and a whole host of other things," he tells Morgan. "It created the climate for what ultimately others after me, David Dinkins and Rudy Giuliani and the current mayor, Mike Bloomberg - particularly him - have done. We are once again the capital - international capital of the world. I honestly, truly believe that."
Watch the clip, and listen to the interview, then tune in tonight at 9 as Piers Morgan welcomes Ed Koch in the former mayor's final formal interview.
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