Rudy Giuliani was born May 28, 1944, in the borough of Brooklyn, New York City. He is the second-generation descendant of Italian immigrants on both his parents' side. He attended Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School, graduating from there in 1961. He then went to Manhattan College in the Bronx, where he majored in political science with a minor in philosophy. He was elected president of his class in his sophomore year, then graduated in 1965. His final educational step was to attend the New York University School of Law in Manhattan, where he graduated cum laude with a Juris Doctor in 1968.
Unusual for a politician of his standing, he started out as a Democrat and then switched parties later. Originally, he expressed admiration for the Kennedys, and volunteered for Robert F. Kennedy's presidential run in 1968. He also worked in a Democratic party committee in the 1960s.
After his graduation, he took on a position as law clerk under Judge Lloyd MacMahon, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York. A year later, he joined the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, where he was promoted to Chief of the Narcotics Unit and then United States Attorney. In 1975, he switched his party affiliation to Republican. In the midst of the Ford administration, he was recruited to Washington, where he assumed the office of Associate Deputy Attorney General and chief of staff to the Deputy Attorney General. In this position, he garnered some headlines when he prosecuted U.S. Representative Bertram L. Podell for corruption. He continued to practice law in sub-government positions through the late 70s and early 80s. One of the well-publicized cases he worked on was the situation with Haiti refugees and the famous "Baby Doc" Duvalier.
Rudy Giuliani was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York in 1983. It was here that he found his greatest fame yet, both through prosecuting Wall Street criminals including Ivan Boesky and Michael Milken, and pursuing cases against drug dealers, organized crime, and government corruption. His most famous organized crime prosecution is the Mafia Commission Trial of 1985, in which he indicted the heads of the "Five Families" of organized crime in New York. He racked up an amazing record of 4,152 convictions in the space of just six years. As a prosecuting attorney, he made a name for himself with his tough stance and ruthless tactics.
His next ambition was to be elected mayor. He made an unsuccessful run in 1989, spearheading a deeply bitter campaign against incumbent David Dinkins, whom he charged with being the person behind much corruption in New York. Defeated but, typical of Giuliani, not at all discouraged, he made another run in 1993. He won this race by a close margin and was elected into office, where he was to serve two terms as Mayor of New York City until 2001, leaving office at last because of term limits.
In 1999, he expressed an interest in running for the United States Senate. He formed an exploratory committee to assess his chances for a Senate bid, however before entering the race he was forced to withdraw due to medical problems. However, his duties as Mayor of New York stretching into 2001 placed him in a high-profile position of city leader coping with the disastrous September 11th terrorist attack. He has since attracted much attention in the aftermath of the attacks.
In the 2004 Presidential election, he publicly endorsed incumbent George Bush. In another unusual development for a high-profile political career, he did not consider running for President in 2008, until a groundswell draft movement began in 2005 to convince him to run. He was apparently convinced, and announced his candidacy on the TV program "Larry King Live" in 2007.
Rudy Giuliani is seen as a moderate Republican, although with his past party switches he is sometimes said to be more Libertarian than anything else. His image is that of a tough, strong, resilient person who fights for a safer society. He has greatly capitalized on his position in the 9/11 disaster, citing his record of actions as an endorsement for his defense of American society.
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