Rudy Giuliani Biography

PHOTO: Rudy Giuliani

Rudolph William Giuliani is the grandson of Italian immigrants. He studied political science and philosophy at Manhattan College, and Law at New York University.

He made his debut on 28 May 1944 in Brooklyn, New York into an American-Italian family that mainly consisted of policemen and firefighters. His mother was called Helen and his father Harold.

Harold Giuliani moved his family to Long Island when Rudy was seven-years-old in a bid to distance them from his former work at his brother's mob-connected loan shark business.

Determined that his son should not make the same mistakes, Harold instilled in his children a deep respect for authority, order and personal property.

After his education at Manhattan College and New York University Law School, Giuliani landed a job as an assistant United States attorney in the southern district of New York, gradually moving up the ladder until he was responsible for the narcotics unit, as chief of staff, before being promoted to executive US attorney.

In 1968, he married his second cousin Regina Peruggi but they separated in the mid-1970s and divorced in 1982.

Giuliani headed to Washington DC, in 1975, to work as the associate deputy attorney general and chief of staff, for Deputy Attorney General, Harold R. Tyler. When Jimmy Carter became president in 1976, Giuliani, now a Republican, left for New York.

Giuliani returned to his job as attorney general in the Reagan administration of 1981.Following his divorce, he married TV personality Donna Hanover in 1982, with whom he had two children. He again returned to New York in 1983, to take up a post as a district attorney.

He was unsuccessful in the race for mayor of New York in 1989, however, he won the election in 1993, becoming the first Republican mayor in twenty years. During his first term in office, he reduced the city's crime rates by a third, cut the murder rate by half, lowered the number of police shootings by 40 per cent and decreased violence in jails by 95 per cent. He was re-elected in 1997.

Under Giuliani's leadership, crime figures were reduced dramatically, However, his policy of 'zero tolerance' (tough penalties for minor offences) was criticised as draconian and racist. He also launched a tough crack-down on homelessness and the sex industry, concentrating on the visibility of the problem, rather than helping its victims.

Giuliani campaigned for the position of New York State senior senator against Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2000, but withdrew, after he was diagnosed with the early stages of prostate cancer.

Giuliani also became tabloid fodder when he separated from his wife of eleven years, after his extra marital affairs were revealed. He was involved with Judith Nathan, who he married in 2003 after his divorce from Hanover was finalised in 2002.

The terrorist attacks of 11th September 2001 wiped away all doubts associated with Giuliani. He became a symbol of New York's survival, and received much praise for his speeches and public appearances.

Arriving at the scene after the second plane hit the Twin Towers, Giuliani led rescue operations that saved as many as 20,000 lives. He also became the voice of reassurance and consolation saying: "Tomorrow New York is going to be here. 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 to his leadership during this period, he will be remembered as one of the greatest mayors in New York's history. He left office on 31 December 2001 and was replaced by Michael Bloomberg, who was endorsed by Giuliani.

In 2008, he ran for the Republican presidential nomination but despite being an early forerunner, his campaign lost momentum and he dropped out. It was rumoured that he would be running again in 2012 but he decided otherwise.

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