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Rudy Giuliani is a former major of New York City who served during the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2001.
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Both towers collapsed within hours and 2,752 people perished from the attacks. Giuliani's leadership during the city's moment of crisis inspired many. Arriving on the scene within minutes of the second plane crash, Giuliani coordinated rescue operations that saved as many as 20,000 lives and emerged as the national voice of reassurance and consolation. "Tomorrow New York is going to be here," a somber but resolved Giuliani announced to the city, the nation and the world. "And we're going to rebuild,
and we're going to be stronger than we were before... I want the people of New York to be an example to the rest of the country, and the rest of the world, that terrorism can't stop us."
Due in large part to his leadership during the terrorists attacks of September 11, 2001, Rudy Giuliani will be forever remembered as one of the great mayors in the history of New York City. He left office on December 31, 2001 and was replaced by Michael Bloomberg, whose election was all but secured the moment he received Giuliani's endorsement. Since then, Giuliani has remained in the national political spotlight. In 2008, he ran for the Republican presidential nomination, but despite being an early frontrunner his campaign failed to generate much momentum and he dropped out after finishing a distant third in the Florida primary. Giuliani is widely rumored to be considering a second presidential campaign for the 2012 election.
Giuliani has been married three times. He married his second cousin, Regina Peruggi, in 1968, before they separated in the mid-1970s and finalized their divorce in 1982. That same year, he married television personality Donna Hanover. Hanover and Giuliani became estranged while he was serving as mayor, and Giuliani moved out of the mayor's residence at Gracie Mansion, where Hanover and his children remained, to live instead in an apartment owned by two of his friends. While still mayor and still married to Hanover, Giulani commenced a relationship with a woman named Judith Nathan, who played an increasingly important and public role in his life during the tragedies of his prostate cancer and the September 11 attacks. Giuliani and Hanover officially divorced in 2002, and Giuliani wed Nathan in 2003.
Even if he never again holds pubic office, Rudy Giuliani will be remembered as one of the most prominent leaders of early 21st century American history for his leadership in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks. An indomitable optimist, perhaps Giuliani's greatest attribute as a leader is his ability to transform even the most horrible tragedy into an opportunity to become stronger. He ensured that New York City was operating again within days of the terror attacks and helped encourage the outpouring of patriotism and national reconciliation that, albeit briefly, united all Americans in the attacks' aftermath. "What could have destroyed us made us stronger," Giuliani proclaimed in a speech that captured the essence of his resilient spirit.
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