New York City’s long-serving medical examiner is retiring.
Dr. Charles Hirsch was appointed in 1989 by then-Mayor Ed Koch, who recently died.
The 75-year-old has investigated thousands of deaths, from the 2001 World Trade Center attack to the 1990 flash fire in the Bronx that killed 87 people.
The New York Times says a recent illness prevented Hirsch from speaking about his retirement this week.
In a statement Tuesday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg called Hirsch “a visionary and dedicated public servant whose work earned him world renown.”
Dr. Barbara Sampson, Hirsch’s longtime deputy, succeeds him as acting chief medical examiner.
Hirsch oversaw major advancements in DNA identification and mass-fatality response operations. His quest to identify the nearly 20,000 body parts collected after 9/11 continues.