MANHATTAN - Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch died early Friday morning at 88.

The Bronx-born, three-term mayor was well known for his trademark comment to constituents as he walked the streets of New York in the 70s and 80s: "How am I doing?"

Some say that was a dark time for the financially strapped and crime-ridden city. But Koch's good friend, Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, says the mayor was never afraid of a good fight.

"He was a fighter for the little guy," D'Amato says. "He was a fighter for the forgotten middle class."

Even though Koch supported a commuter tax on suburbanites to pay for city services, many say the city's success was good for Long Island.

"Koch, by reinitializing the city and making it financially stronger, gave hope and encouragement and made Long Island more prosperous," David Peirez, of Great Neck, says.

Koch's funeral will be held Monday at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan.