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 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.
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. 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. 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 became a symbol of New York’s survival, and received much praise for his speeches and public appearances after the terrorist attacks of 11th September 2001.