Skip to content

Ed Koch on Walking Faster, Talking Faster, Thinking Faster

Ed Koch, the quintessential New Yorker, was once asked to define the people of his city. 

“To be a New Yorker,” the former three-term mayor replied, “you have to live here for six months, and if at the end of the six months you find you walk faster, talk faster, think faster, you’re a New Yorker.” 

When Koch came to Big Think’s studio three years ago, he was 85, and still going fast. In his memory, we have selected three videos that best live up to his motto of walking faster, talking faster and thinking faster. 

When we asked Koch what he thought his biggest accomplishment was as mayor, he said it was helping to get the city its morale back. 

Watch the video here:

It was a long road to the mayor’s office for Koch, who endured defeats early on in his political career. Koch called these defeats “lucky losses” because they spared him from having to attend the General Assembly in Albany, “a fate worse than death.”

Watch the video here:

At the time of this interview, Koch was 85 years old. He said he did not fear death, however, because he had already survived so much, including the Battle of the Bulge in World War II.

Watch here:


Up Next