Mayor Koch Willed $100,000 To His Loyal Secretary Mary Garrigan

Mary Garrigan Ed KochWhen the brash and beloved former mayor of New York City Edward Koch passed away last month, there was a question of who would inherit the lifelong bachelor's sizable wealth. News outlets are now reporting that Koch has left millions to his sister's three sons, and smaller but still generous gifts to his brother's widow, and his brother's children. But one non-family member also made the list of beneficiaries: Koch's secretary of nearly four decades, Mary Garrigan (pictured with Koch).

Garrigan, 63, who was hired to work as a secretary for Koch's Congressional office in 1975, will receive $100,000.
"He trusted her more than any single person on his staff," Koch's former press secretary George Arzt told The New York Times. "She knew everything and she never spoke about anything."

More: Why 'Secretary' Is Still The Top Job For Women

Garrigan was hardly known to the public during Koch's reign as mayor, and tended to avoid publicity, but she sat dutifully outside his office each day in City Hall, handling his daily affairs. While more and more ex-assistants to the rich and powerful are cashing in on their intimate knowledge of their employers (see the slideshow below), Garrigan was a secretary of the old school. Highly loyal and highly private, Garrigan today is single and lives in Manhattan.

Dennis Christensen, an elder law attorney for two decades, says it's "fairly common" for individuals to leave money to non-relatives. "It's not usually a whole lot of money. But oftentimes it's some money just to give that person some acknowledgement of how important they were." But giving money to an employee is far rarer, he says. "Most of the time, people feel like they've fairly compensated their staff during their lifetime, and don't see any reason to give them additional compensation or recognition after death."

Garrigan certainly knew she was special to Koch, who credited her, along with three other women -- one of his deputy mayors, his chief of staff, and former executive director of the city's Art Commission -- as responsible for his success. Out of those four women, however, Garrigan was the only one to get pride of place in Koch's will.

"Many times people just don't have any idea," says Christensen, "that the person thought of much of them as they apparently did."




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Claire Gordon

Staff Writer

Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.

Follow Claire on Twitter. Email Claire at claire.gordon@teamaol.com. Add Claire to your Google+ circles.

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Victoria

Penelope. true that Carlos`s blurb is great... on saturday I bought themselves a Lotus Elise after earning $9069 this-past/four weeks an would you believe ten thousand this past munth. with-out any question its the nicest job I've ever had. I began this seven months/ago and pretty much straight away was earning over $79, per-hour. I follow the details on this straightforward website Big44.com

March 17 2013 at 9:08 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
fjk196336

Obamacare will take away most of that money and then she will be shocked.

March 17 2013 at 3:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lena

til I saw the check which had said $4763, I didnt believe that...my... father in law was like actually bringing home money part-time on-line.. there friends cousin haz done this 4 only twenty three months and at present paid for the debts on their condo and got a gorgeous Chrysler. go to, Fox76.com

March 14 2013 at 8:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
larry

That man was a cheapskate. 4 decades of loyal service and thats all she got ????? Go ahead write a tell all book on him . And you will surely get millions.. That man doesnt deserve your loyalty.

March 14 2013 at 7:34 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to larry's comment
poll100

Come on, she probably earned a fantastic paycheck an this was just icing on the cake. A years salary.

March 15 2013 at 12:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
brandma6585

This was a very nice act of kindness, especially to a secretary. Most in this position do not get the recognition that they deserve. I was a secretary for 30 years and a good secretary is the eyes, ears, and core of an institution with no expectation of compensation, just a job well done.

March 14 2013 at 9:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Empire Maker

This is not uncommon at all. The three-family house next to mine was willed by the owner to her maid. It happens quite often in my area, older folks willing houses to their caretaker, sometime they only care they receive is from their maid, their children having shun them.

March 14 2013 at 8:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
microflight5

100,000 ? THAT IS POCKET CHANGE WAIT TILL SHE WRITE A TELL ALLL BOOK SHE WILL MAKE ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD!! LOL

March 14 2013 at 7:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
weepingsoul

It was very kind of him to her leave her the money, not many bosses would leave their secretary a dime. I am sure she is very happy!!!!!

March 14 2013 at 2:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hhijena

Ed Koch was known for his generosity. He was well liked by those that knew him.

March 14 2013 at 2:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hhijena

Anita Hill got screwed and thomas was confirmed. A travasty that has never been corrected.

March 14 2013 at 2:06 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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