When Did Abe Hirschfeld Start To Be Regarded As A Joke?

I’m trying to keep this a GQ, but feel free to move it if it evolves into a GD.

Abe Hirschfeld (the NYC real estate developer) has announced that he’s running for the US Senate (yet again).

Thinking of that, I’ve started to wonder one thing:

Was there ever a point in time that he wasn’t regarded as a figure of ridicule (this is where the memories of the older/NYC bred Dopers will come in handy), and, if so, when did he start getting treated as a joke?

It would appear that, out of a board of 40,000, that not one member remembers back to the mid-1970’s and/or was in NYC in the mid-1970’s…

Governor Quinn:

I think his ridicule started when he attempted to buy the New York Post in 1993. For reasons I was never quite clear on (but possibly having to do with announced intentions to have some sort of joint editorship with editors of certain racially-focused local papers), the newsroom folks instinctively knew they wouldn’t want to work for him and dedicated the first few days of his ownership of the paper to articles that portrayed him in a bad light. Certainly since then, he’s been regarded as nothing more than a rich, eccentric crank.

If it started prior to that, I wasn’t aware of it.