Former Mayor Ed Koch, who died today, won a bruising 1977 mayoral primary against Mario Cuomo, who would later be elected governor of New York. But one of the most memorable aspects of that famously ugly mayoral race was a vile poster that appeared on city streets urging New Yorkers to "Vote for Cuomo, not the homo"—considered one of the worst political dirty tricks in campaign history.

Mario Cuomo and his son Andrew Cuomo (who was involved with his father's campaign) denied that they had anything to do with the smear. More recently, it was revealed that Mario Cuomo worked to patch things up between his son and Koch so Koch would endorse Andrew when he was running for Attorney General. Koch recalled, "The signs said, VOTE FOR CUOMO, NOT THE HOMO. Andrew says he didn't do it, and I believe him. Mario says he thinks he now knows who did it. I was very angry at the time. Primary races always end in anger. They're different than the general election: They're like a civil war — it's brother against brother. But I've forgiven them."

The NY Times reported that in December 2008, "[Mario] Cuomo invited himself to a birthday party for the mayor at Gracie Mansion and offered a gracious tribute. Mr. Koch was moved. He recalled: 'Mario always told people, "I like Ed a lot more than he likes me." The first time he said that, I replied, 'You’re right, Mario.' But that’s over with. He said he was sorry." Mario Cuomo himself told the Times in 2009, "If anything, I thought it was done by someone who wanted to see me lose. I never did anything like that and it was a wrong thing to do, whoever did it; it was ugly and unfair. If he believed I did it and forgave me for it, that was kind of him. I always liked him and respected him however he felt about me."

In a video interview in 2009, Koch told the NY Times that the poster incident still rankled him, "They put up signs on Queens Boulevard, the whole boulevard, it was shocking... I called Mario a weekend or two before the election and I said, 'Mario this is happening... Mario, you gotta do something about that. It's not right.' " While Cuomo told him he would try to do something, Koch said, "I don't believe he did anything." Koch reflected, "That matter has affected our relationship from '77 through this year. We get along, we got along as mayor and governor but I always held it against him. I also held it against this son Andy Cuomo. Even though social relationships when we meet in public are good, underneath he knows I know what I'm really thinking, 'You [swear].'"

As for the whole question about his sexuality, "My reaction was to say 'It's none of your fucking business' and people who voted for me, some of them thought or think I'm gay. Some of them think I'm not. And most of them DON'T CARE."

Here's Koch speaking to the Times about the incident around the 7:45 mark: