Grave Guy's Mistake Mars Ed Koch's Tombstone

Wrong Birth Date Carved on Hizzoner's Memorial

Grave Error: Ed Koch’s grave stone says he was born in 1942 — instead of 1924.
Grave Error: Ed Koch’s grave stone says he was born in 1942 — instead of 1924.

By Forward Staff

Published June 18, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

How’m I doin’? If you’re the guy in charge of engraving Ed Koch’s grave stone, the answer is: Not too good.

getty images

A red-faced artisan vowed to correct his shocking error after he carved the wrong birth year onto the tombstone of the late New York City mayor in Trinity Church Cemetery in Washington Heights. Instead of 1924, it reads 1942.

Tommy Flynn vowed to fix the set-in-stone snafu within a couple of weeks.

“It was a simple human error,” he told the New York Times.

Koch, 88, died of congestive heart failure on Feb. 1.

He meticulously planned for his death and his pre-ordered tombstone had been in place for some time, with epitaphs already inscribed.

The gray granite famously includes the last words of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was beheaded in 2002 by Islamist terrorists in Pakistan: “My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I am Jewish.”

But Koch, who served three terms as mayor intentionally left out the birth and death dates, to be filled in after he passed away.

It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that the date of birth and death were etched by Flynn, the stone-cutter. The error was first reported by WNBC-TV.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.