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If you like Rudolph Giuliani's story, you might also like:
David Boies,
Willie Brown,
Ruth Bader Ginsburg,
Larry King,
Norman Mailer,
Frank McCourt,
William McRaven,
Alan Simpson,
John Sexton,
Antonio Villaraigosa
and Andrew Young

Rudolph Giuliani's recommended reading: Profiles in Courage

Related Links:
Giuliani Partners
Bracewell Giuliani
Giuliani Security

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Rudolph Giuliani
Rudolph Giuliani
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Rudolph Giuliani Biography

Former Mayor of New York City

Rudolph Giuliani Date of birth: May 28, 1944

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  Rudolph Giuliani

Rudolph William Giuliani was born in Brooklyn, New York. His father, Harold, had run afoul of the law as a young man, and after paying the consequences, worked hard to instill an unwavering respect for the law in his only child. To escape the influences of criminal acquaintances in the old neighborhood, Harold Giuliani moved the family from Brooklyn to the Long Island community of Garden City when his son was seven. Respect for the law and a sense of duty were reinforced by the extended family. Four of Rudolph Giuliani's uncles were policemen, and another was a much-decorated captain in the New York Fire Department.

Rudolph Giuliani Biography Photo
Giuliani majored in political science and philosophy at Manhattan College, and graduated magna cum laude from New York University School of Law in 1968. After receiving his law degree, he served as clerk to Federal District Court Judge Lloyd F. McMahon, who encouraged him to join the U.S. Attorney's office. In 1970, Giuliani became an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York. He was soon named Chief of the Narcotics Unit and promoted to the position of Executive U.S. Attorney at ustice Department Headqarters in Washington, DC. In 1973, at age 29, he was put in charge of the highly publicized police-corruption cases arising from the Knapp Commission report. In 1975, he was appointed Associate Deputy Attorney General. He returned to New York in 1976 and became a partner in the law firm of Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler.

After practicing law for four years, Rudolph Giuliani was named Associate Attorney General in the new administration of President Ronald Reagan. As the third-highest-ranking member of the Department of Justice, he oversaw federal law enforcement agencies including the Bureau of Corrections, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the U.S. Marshal Service. In 1983 he was named U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. As U.S. Attorney, he earned a national reputation for prosecuting mob bosses, corrupt politicians and Wall Street inside traders with equal zeal. In six years, he obtained 4,152 convictions; he was widely regarded as the most effective prosecutor in the country.

After leaving the Justice Department, his thoughts turned toward the state of his native city and what role he might play in its regeneration. Long troubled by violent street crime, New York City had been further ravaged by the crack cocaine epidemic. The city was considered a case study in urban decay, and was thought by many to be beyond repair. As Giuliani considered running for Mayor, he was often told that, as a Republican, he could never win election in an overwhelmingly Democratic city. In 1989 he lost his first race for Mayor by the closest margin in New York City's history. As the city's condition continued to decline, Giuliani resolved to run again. In the election of 1993, the race was also close, but the outcome was reversed. Rudolph Giuliani was elected the 107th Mayor of New York City, the first Republican to hold the post in 20 years.

Rudolph Giuliani Biography Photo
When Giuliani took office, more than a million New Yorkers were on welfare -- every seventh resident of the city. The new administration initiated the country's largest "workfare" program, and over the next eight years, 691,000 people moved from the welfare rolls to work and self-sufficiency.

The new Mayor adopted the controversial "Broken Windows" theory of crime prevention, in which the smaller signs of disorder -- such as graffiti and vandalism -- are suppressed, to alter the perception that a neighborhood is out of control. Computer mapping enabled the New York Police Department to identify precise locations with the highest incidence of violent crime and direct their resources accordingly. In only two years, serious crime had been reduced by more than one-third and murder by almost half.

Many attributed the drop in crime to the improved national economy and declining national crime rates, but crime in New York continued to decline during an economic downturn, even while it rose in the rest of the country. While a few cases of police misconduct or excessive force received intense publicity, actual police shootings declined by 40 percent during Giuliani's administration, and long overdue reforms reduced violence in the city jails by 95 percent. Over Giuliani's eight years in office, New York's crime rate fell by 57 percent, and the FBI rated New York as America's safest large city.

Drawing on his past accomplishments as a prosecutor, Giuliani also moved to eradicate the influence of organized crime from the city's commercial life. Hundreds of millions of dollars that had been routinely siphoned from the city's economy by racketeers were returned to the legitimate sector. Income and property values rose throughout the city, and whole neighborhoods were redeveloped. With the improvement of the city's economy, Giuliani was able to cut taxes while turning a $2.3 billion budget deficit into a multi-billion dollar surplus. After his first two closely-fought campaigns, Rudolph Giuliani was easily re-elected to a second term in 1997, carrying four of the city's five boroughs.

Rudolph Giuliani Biography Photo
From the beginning of his administration, Mayor Giuliani made a high priority of emergency preparedness, taking to heart the lessons of the first bombing of the World Trade Center in the year before he took office. He created an Office of Emergency Management to coordinate the efforts of the Police and Fire Departments, and ran drills for a variety of possible disasters, including plane crashes, bombings and attacks with Sarin gas or anthrax.

Barred by term limits from serving a third time as mayor, Giuliani was expected to run for the United States Senate, but in the Spring of 2000 his marriage was ending in a highly public divorce, and he announced that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, the same disease that had killed his father. He withdrew from the Senate race and underwent months of radiation treatment. He recovered completely, and is now free of cancer, but in the autumn of 2000 it was assumed that Rudolph Giuliani's role in the life of the City was coming to an end. The primary election to choose his possible successor was scheduled for September 11, 2001.

That morning, on hearing that a plane had hit one of the Twin Towers, and that a large fire had broken out, the Mayor rushed to the scene, arriving just after another plane hit the second tower. He saw fellow New Yorkers jump to their deaths from the flaming towers, and saw old friends from the Fire Department as they charged into the burning buildings, never to be seen again.

The Mayor took charge of the emergency efforts from a nearby building, but when the second tower collapsed, the building was engulfed in a wave of dust, ash and debris. The Mayor, his staff, members of the press and other occupants of the crumbling building were nearly trapped. Giuliani led his crew through the storm of ash and smoke to a firehouse several blocks away, where a detective pried the door open and the group found momentary safety.

Rudolph Giuliani Biography Photo
Giuliani established a new command post at the Police Academy, where he remained for the next three days. The Mayor of New York took to the airwaves immediately, reassuring a shaken nation and giving honest, straightforward information about the ongoing rescue effort. Although nearly 3,000 people died in the attack, as many as 20,000 civilians were rescued from the collapsing buildings. While some advisors urged the Mayor to keep the city's public places closed, Giuliani insisted that New York's signature institutions -- Broadway theaters, the Stock Exchange and major league baseball -- re-open within days of the attack.

In the days and months following the terrorist attacks, the Mayor's commanding leadership earned him the admiration and respect of the international community and especially of the grief-stricken residents of New York City. In all, 23 police and 343 fire fighters lost their lives on September 11, and the Mayor made a point of attending as many of their funerals and memorial services as possible -- over 200 in the months that followed. Rudolph Giuliani left office at midnight, as 2001 turned to 2002. His last official act as Mayor was to set the giant ball rolling in Times Square to signal the start of the new year.

After leaving office, he founded Giuliani Partners, a New York-based consulting firm specializing in security, preparedness, and crisis management. He discussed the lessons of his life and career in his 2002 book Leadership. He has enjoyed a highly lucrative career as a consultant and public speaker; in 2005, he also joined the law firm Bracewell & Patterson, now known as Bracewell & Giuliani LLP.

Rudolph Giuliani Biography Photo
In 2007, Giuliani responded to widespread speculation by announcing his intention to seek the Republican nomination for President of the United States. Initially considered a front-runner, he bypassed the 2008 Iowa caucuses and other early contests to concentrate his effort on the Florida primary. When he finished in a disappointing third place in Florida, he withdrew from the race and immediately threw his enthusiastic support behind the eventual nominee, Senator John McCain. One of McCain's most visible supporters throughout the campaign, he continues to speak on behalf of Republican candidates across the country, and remains a formidable influence within his party. Whether or not Rudolph Giuliani ever seeks public office again, he will always be remembered for his inspiring leadership of New York City in its hour of greatest need.

This page last revised on Oct 25, 2010 18:11 EDT
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