Ed Koch, who died Friday at the age of 88, is being remembered as the former New York City mayor who refused to discuss his sexuality.

As recently as 2009, Koch, a lifelong bachelor who ran the city for 12 years ending in 1989, explained that he was not interested in answering the question.

“I do not want to add to the acceptability of asking every candidate, 'Are you straight or gay or lesbian?' and make it a legitimate question, so I don't submit to that question,” Koch told The New York Times. “I don't care if people think I'm gay because I don't answer it. I'm flattered that at 84 people are interested in my sex life – and, it's quite limited.”

“There were lots of people who believed I was gay, and voted for me, and lots of people who didn't believe I was gay who voted for me,” Koch said in the VH1 documentary NY77. “Most people didn't care, and my attitude was fuck 'em.” (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

But Koch did publicly deny gay rumors at least twice, according to The Times.

A New York Newsday cover from 1989 placed Koch under the tagline “I'm heterosexual.”

He also denied rumors he's gay during a 1989 WMCA radio broadcast: “I happen to believe that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality. It's whatever God made you. It happens that I'm heterosexual, but I don't care about that. I do care about protecting the rights of 10 percent of our population who are homosexual and who don't have the ability to protect their rights.”