Oliver Koppell

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Oliver Koppell
Member of the New York City Council
from the 11th district
In office
January 1, 2002 – December 31, 2013
Preceded byJune Eisland
Succeeded byAndrew Cohen
ConstituencyBronx: Kingsbridge, Riverdale, Woodlawn Heights, Norwood, parts of Bedford Park, Wakefield and Bronx Park East.
61st Attorney General of New York
In office
January 1, 1994 – December 31, 1994
GovernorMario Cuomo
Preceded byRobert Abrams
Succeeded byDennis Vacco
Member of the New York State Assembly
In office
March 3, 1970 – December 31, 1993
Preceded byBenjamin Altman
Succeeded byJeffrey Dinowitz
Constituency84th district (1970–82)
80th district (1983–92)
81st district (1993)
Personal details
Born (1940-12-15) December 15, 1940 (age 82)
Bronx, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseLorraine Coyle Koppell
Residence(s)Bronx, New York, U.S.
Alma materHarvard College
Harvard Law School

Gabriel Oliver Koppell (born December 15, 1940) is an American lawyer and politician from New York City. A member of the Democratic Party, he is a former member of the New York City Council and the former New York Attorney General.


Koppell was born on December 15, 1940, in New York City. His parents, refugees from Nazi Germany, moved to the Bronx when Oliver was two years old. Koppell attended Bronx elementary schools, the Bronx High School of Science, Harvard College and Harvard Law School, from which he graduated cum laude.[1] While at Harvard College, he founded Let's Go Travel Guides. He is Jewish.[2]

Koppell's first marriage ended in divorce. He is now married to Lorraine Coyle Koppell, an attorney who narrowly lost a race for the New York State Senate in 2000 to Guy Velella. He has three children, all of whom were raised in the Bronx and attended Bronx public schools, and five grandchildren.[1] Koppell is active in the Benjamin Franklin Reform Democratic Club. He has been a resident of Fieldston in the Bronx.[3]

New York State Assembly[edit]

Koppell was a member of the New York State Assembly from 1970 to 1994.

On March 3, 1970, Koppell was elected as an Independent to the New York State Assembly, to fill the vacancy caused by the appointment of Benjamin Altman as New York City Commissioner of Rent and Housing Maintenance. While in the Assembly, he served as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and passed the New York bottle bill.

Koppell was re-elected several times as a Democrat, and remained in the Assembly until 1993, sitting in the 178th, 179th, 180th, 181st, 182nd, 183rd, 184th, 185th, 186th, 187th, 188th, 189th and 190th New York State Legislatures

In 1981, Koppell ran for Bronx Borough President, but was defeated in the Democratic primary by the incumbent, Stanley Simon.

New York Attorney General[edit]

On December 16, 1993, Koppell was elected by the New York State Legislature to fill the unexpired term of New York Attorney General Robert Abrams.[4] As attorney general, Koppell successfully brought a lawsuit to allow drivers under the age of 25 to obtain rental cars in the State of New York. Mr. Koppell initiated dozens of public interest lawsuits, collected over $100,000,000 for the state treasury, and negotiated the largest environmental settlement in the history of New York.[5]

In 1994, Koppell sought a full term as attorney general, but lost to Judge Karen Burstein in the Democratic Primary. He finished second, ahead of Brooklyn District Attorney Charles "Joe" Hynes and prosecutor Eliot Spitzer.

In 1998, he again sought the Democratic nomination for attorney general. He finished third in the primary, behind Spitzer, who won, and State Senator Catherine Abate. Koppell finished ahead of Charles Davis, a former staffer for former Governor Mario Cuomo.

New York City Council[edit]

He served as a member of the New York City Council from District 11 in the Bronx, covering the neighborhoods of Riverdale, Kingsbridge, Woodlawn Heights, Van Cortlandt Village, Norwood, and Bedford Park. He was elected to the Council in 2001, and defeated Ari Hoffnung by a 3 to 1 margin in 2005.

On September 15, 2009, Koppell defeated challenger, Tony Perez Casino winning 65% of the vote. Due to term limits, Koppell left the City Council on December 31, 2013.

2014 State Senate Run[edit]

In 2014, Koppell ran against incumbent State Senator Jeffrey D. Klein in the Democratic Party primary, and was defeated on a 60 to 40 margin. Koppell ran on the basis of disbanding the Independent Democratic Conference (a Democratic group of senators who caucused with Republicans), led by Klein.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Official Biography
  2. ^ "Jewish Insider's Daily Kickoff: December 15, 2017". Haaretz.
  3. ^ Jackson, Nancy Beth. "If You're Thinking of Living In/Fieldston; A Leafy Enclave in the Hills of the Bronx", The New York Times, February 17, 2002. Accessed May 3, 2008. "TODAY, residents include United Nations ambassadors from Benin and Guinea; Jennifer J. Raab, president of Hunter College and former head of the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission; and G. Oliver Koppell, the former New York attorney general newly elected to the City Council."
  4. ^ Koppell Named Interim Attorney General in the New York Times on December 17, 1993
  5. ^ Top Attorneys of North America
  6. ^ "Koppell challenges Klein for senate seat," Riverdale Press. May 5, 2014 [1]

External links[edit]

New York State Assembly
Preceded by New York State Assembly
84th District

Succeeded by
Preceded by New York State Assembly
80th District

Succeeded by
Preceded by New York State Assembly
81st District

Succeeded by
Legal offices
Preceded by Attorney General of New York
Succeeded by
New York City Council
Preceded by New York City Council
11th district

Succeeded by