Heroes and scoundrels: What do you know about New York mayors? Take our quiz.

On Nov. 5, New Yorkers will elect the city’s 109th mayor. Often called “the second toughest job in America,” the office has been held by locomotive drivers, jazz composers, and one of the world’s richest men. Some have been scoundrels, some heroes, and some a mix of both. But all have been men, and all but one white.

From 1665 to 1777, New York mayors were appointed by the provincial governor. A state or city council appointed mayors until 1834, and since then mayors have been elected by direct popular vote.

Our quiz focuses mostly on the 18 men elected mayor since the consolidation of 1898, when New York expanded from Manhattan to include the four outer boroughs. How much do you know about the cast of colorful characters who have led the sprawling metropolis some have called the “capital of the world?”

14. Which did Mayor Ed Koch NOT say:

Seth Wenig/AP/File
Former New York Mayor Ed Koch speaks during a publicity event in New York, March 23, 2010.

"If you agree with me on 9 out of 12 issues, vote for me. If you agree with me on 12 out of 12 issues, see a psychiatrist."

"I'm not the type to get ulcers. I give them."

“It's about time law enforcement got as organized as organized crime.”

"How'm I doin?"

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

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