Rudolph Giuliani biography
Rudolph Giuliani, born on May 28, 1944, in Brooklyn, New York, worked as a private attorney and with the U.S. Department of Justice. He later won the New York City mayoral race as the Republican candidate in 1993. He stayed in office for two terms, taking a tough view on crime while becoming a divisive figure, and later unsuccessfully campaigned for his party’s presidential nomination in 2008.
Former mayor of New York City Rudolph William Louis Giuliani was born on May 28, 1944, in Brooklyn, New York, into a large Italian-American family that consisted mostly of cops and firefighters. "I grew up with uniforms all around me and their stories of heroism," Giuliani remembers. His mother, Helen Giuliani, was a smart and serious woman, and his father, Harold Giuliani, worked for a brother's mob-connected loan sharking business
Although Giuliani only learned the full story as an adult, his father had been arrested in 1934 for robbing a milkman at gunpoint and had spent a year and a half in jail. "I knew he had gotten into trouble as a young man, but I never knew exactly what it was," Giuliani recalled. Nevertheless, Harold Giuliani was an excellent father who was determined not to allow his son to repeat his mistakes.
When Rudy Giuliani was 7 years old, his father moved the family from Brooklyn out to Long Island to distance his son from the mob-connected members of the family, and he instilled in him a deep respect for authority, order and personal property. "My father compensated through me," Rudy Giuliani later said. "In a very exaggerated way, he made sure that I didn't repeat his mistakes in my life—which I thank him for, because it worked out."
Giuliani attended Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School, where he was only a decent student but an active participant and leader in student politics. Upon graduating in 1961, he continued on to Manhattan College in The Bronx, graduating in 1965. Inspired by his father's constant lecturing on the importance of order and authority in society, Giuliani resolved to become a lawyer and attended New York University Law School.
At NYU, Giuliani truly excelled as a student for the first time, graduating magna cum laude in 1968 and landing a prestigious clerkship with Judge Lloyd MacMahon, a United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York. At Judge MacMahon's encouragement, Giuliani then moved to Washington, D.C. to work for the U.S. Attorney's Office. He received his first big promotion in 1973, at the age of 29, when he was appointed the attorney in charge of the police corruption cases resulting from the high profile Knapp Commission.
Early Political Career
In 1977, Giuliani left the U.S. Attorney's Office to spend four years in private practice with the firm Patterson, Belknap, Webb and Tyler in New York. Then, in 1981, he returned to Washington to serve as President Reagan's Associate Attorney General, the No. 3 position in the Justice Department. Two years later, in 1983, Giuliani was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and began his lifelong fight against the endemic problems of drugs, violence and organized crime in New York City.
During his six years as U.S. Attorney, Giuliani worked tirelessly to jail drug dealers, prosecute white-collar criminals and disrupt organized crime and government corruption. Giuliani's 4,152 convictions (against only 25 reversals) distinguish him as one of the most effective U.S. Attorneys in American history. It was also as a U.S. Attorney that Giuliani began to develop his reputation as something of a publicity seeker, sometimes publicly handcuffing mob bosses and business leaders on trumped up charges only to quietly drop the charges later.
New York City Mayor
In 1989, Giuliani ran for mayor of New York City as a Republican against Democrat David Dinkins. He lost by a razor-thin margin in one of the closest mayoral elections in New York City history, and Dinkins became the city's first black mayor. Four years later, in 1993, Giuliani again challenged Dinkins. With more than one million New Yorkers on welfare, crime rates skyrocketing and an ever-worsening crack cocaine epidemic plaguing the city, the mild-mannered Dinkins had fallen out of favor and a tough-on-crime prosecutor appeared—to many—to be exactly what the city needed. Giuliani won the election and took office as New York City's 107th mayor on January 1, 1994.
Comparing himself to Winston Churchill leading London through The Blitz of 1940, Giuliani set out to tackle New York's problems with a single-mindedness that bordered on ruthlessness. In his first two years in office, his policies helped reduce serious crime by one-third and cut the city's murder rate in half. Police shootings fell by 40 percent and incidents of violence in city jails, once a seemingly insurmountable problem, virtually disappeared by the end of his first term, dropping by 95 percent. Giuliani's highly successful "welfare-to-work" initiative helped more than 600,000 New Yorkers land employment and achieve self-sufficiency.
Perhaps inevitably for a mayor so determined to fundamentally change the way city politics operated, Giuliani earned nearly as many enemies as admirers. Minority leaders abhorred him for his widespread reliance on racial profiling in law enforcement and liberals criticized his failure to reform the city's troubled public school system. "Civility" campaigns against jaywalking, street vendors and public funding of controversial art likewise provoked some public ire. Although he won reelection by a landslide in 1997, by 2000—as his second term was nearing its end—Giuliani's popularity had fallen off considerably. That same year was he diagnosed with prostate cancer, the disease that had killed his father, and began undergoing treatments that sapped him of his usual vigor.
September 11th Attacks
However, just as Giuliani appeared to be fading into retirement, he was suddenly thrust into the international spotlight by a tragedy that shocked the world and came to define his public career. On September 11, 2001, al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked two commercial passenger airliners and crashed them into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in Manhattan.
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."
Political Career and Platform
Due in large part to his leadership during the terrorists attacks of September 11, 2001, Rudy Giuliani will forever be known 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. During the 2012 presidential election, Giullani endorsed Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
Personal Life and Legacy
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 may 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. 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.