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.
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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.


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