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Former New York mayor Ed Koch moved to hospital intensive care

By Edith Honan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch was moved to a hospital intensive care unit on Thursday, his spokesman said, in a sign that his health could be deteriorating.

Koch spokesman George Arzt said the 88-year-old politician, who earned a reputation for being as outspoken as he is colorful, was being moved so his cardiologist could better monitor his condition. Koch has been treated at New York-Presbyterian Hospital on and off since January 19.

Koch was re-admitted to the hospital on Monday after complaining of shortness of breath. He was unable to attend Tuesday's premier of "Koch," a documentary about his turbulent three terms as mayor, at the Museum of Modern Art.

In New York's City Hall from 1978 to 1989, Koch - with his trademark phrase "How'm I Doing?" - was seen as the personification of New York City.

"I don't think there was anybody who had more fun being mayor as Ed Koch," City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is in the race to be the city's next mayor, said while walking the premier's red carpet.

Koch was credited with helping to restore confidence in the city at a time when it stood at the brink of financial ruin. Under his leadership, New York City regained its fiscal footing and underwent a construction boom.

His time in office was also marked by corruption among his political allies, racial tensions, a rise in cases of AIDS and HIV, and an increase in homelessness and the crime rate.

(Reporting by Edith Honan; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst)

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