France's President Jacques Chirac called him "Rudy the Rock" and "Mayor Hero." David Letterman described him as "the personification of courage." And the New York Times praised him as "the leader New York City needed in its worst moment."
Born in Brooklyn, with grandparents who were Italian immigrants, Rudolph William Giuliani (1944-) was named "Class Politician" his last year at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School.
"For my energy, I am very grateful to my mother," he once said about the strong woman who taught him to love history, reading, and geography.
The two-term, high-visibility mayor (1994-2001) held "his city" together in the aftermath of the World Trade Center disaster with steadfast compassion and leadership--rolling up his sleeves in the trenches, helping others cope.
"Whatever strength I have is from the people of New York," said the man who graduated magna cum laude from New York University Law School in 1968. As mayor, Giuliani reduced the city's serious crime rate to its lowest level in a generation.
Although the Republican leader's second term expired on Dec. 31, 2001, many called for emergency legislation to extend his term. His highly-publicized recovery from prostate cancer and collapse of his marriage forced Giuliani out of a run for the U.S. Senate in 2000, leaving him in charge at a time when New York needed him most.
Asked by USA Today if the World Trade Center attack would change him, he replied, "Who knows? You'll find out after it's over. You take into things like emergencies and crises all of the things you've learned, all of the good things about you, and hopefully they reduce some of the bad things about you."
Since leaving office, Giuliani has written a book about leadership and formed Giuliani Partners, a consultant firm specializing in emergency preparedness.
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