How Rudy Giuliani went from a respected federal prosecutor and beloved NYC mayor to Trump's bag man

J Pat Carter/APRudy Giuliani.
  • Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s attorney, has been at the forefront of the administration’s response to several controversies facing the president.
  • Before he was at the vocal centre of the president’s multiple scandals, Giuliani was the widely hailed mayor of America’s largest city who lead the country through national tragedy.
  • See his journey from high-powered politician to controversial commentator, and key player in Trump’s Ukraine scandal and resulting impeachment inquiry.
  • Visit for more stories.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has had a high-profile ride from lawyer to New York politician to presidential candidate to President Donald Trump’s personal attorney and cable-news defender.

He’s also been a larger-than-life public presence who’s dabbled in drag, led the country through the tragedy of September 11, 2001, and now is a central figure in Trump’s impeachment inquiry.

When Giuliani was booed at a Yankees game in 2018, it became clear he had taken on a new reputation that was far from being “America’s Mayor” who showed courageous leadership after the 9/11 attacks.

Rudolph Giuliani was born on May 28, 1944 in Brooklyn, New York. Raised on Long Island, Giuliani went on to attend the Bronx’s Manhattan College before graduating magna cum laude from New York University School of Law in 1968.



Giuliani is the grandson of Italian immigrants, born to a working-class family comprised of firemen and policemen, which he said gave him an appreciation for public servants. “I grew up with uniforms all around me and their stories of heroism,” Giuliani has said.

Stephen Chernin/APMembers of the New York City Fire Department march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade March 17, 2008 in New York City.

Source: The Quotable Giuliani: The Mayor of America in his Own Words

Giuliani’s first marriage lasted 14 years before it was annulled after he discovered he was second cousins with his wife, Regina Peruggi.

Hansepoo via Wikimedia CommonsRegina Peruggi, President of Kingsborough College, delivers address at the college’s June 2008 commencement ceremony.

Source: New York Daily News

In April 1984, Giuliani married Donna Hanover on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The couple later had two children: Andrew and Carolin.

Mario Suriani/APRudolph Giuliani holds up his three-year-old son Andrew at a news conference where he announced his candidacy for New York City mayor, Wednesday, May 17, 1989.

Source: New York Daily News

Giuliani was a popular politician and first elected New York City mayor in 1993.

Ed Bailey/APNew York City Mayor-elect Rudy Giuliani and former Mayor John Lindsay

He was the first Republican elected to the office since 1965.

Source: CNN

His administration had a strong effect on New York’s unprecedented crime rates …

Todd Plitt/APGiuliani gestures as he announces that New York City appears to be leading the nation’s fight against crime.

… and had a strong public image because of his participation in events like New York’s annual roast of the mayor, at which he appeared as his alter ego, Rudy Rudia.

Source: New York Daily News

He was recognised as a brave leader for New Yorkers and the country after the 9/11 attacks, earning the nickname “America’s Mayor”.

He even was widely favoured to be the 2008 Republican presidential nominee.

Susan Walsh/APRepublican presidential hopeful, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaking at the 2007 Conservative Political Action Conference.

Source: CNN

But his campaign proved disastrous after a series of missteps including ignoring primaries before Florida, relatively liberal policies, and a complicated family image, causing him to fall from the top of the polls.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/APRepublican presidential hopeful, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, speaks during a press availability, September 20, 2007 in Reston, Virginia.

Source: The Guardian

But since his exit from his widely popular time as a political candidate, his public image has grown somewhat bizarre.

Kathy Willens/APRudy Giuliani in 2009.

Ahead of the 2016 election, he made repeated aggressive public comments against former President Barack Obama “doesn’t love America” and pushed propaganda to make “people hate the police”.

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Source: Business Insider, The Hill

He cut a kooky figure when he was pictured wearing Apple AirPods sideways in May 2018.

Rick Wilson/TwitterRudy Giuliani and Rick Wilson.

Source: Business Insider

Giuliani joined, then quickly misstepped, as part of President Donald Trump’s legal team.

Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesRudy Giuliani and Donald Trump.

Source: CNN

Over the course of the second year of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, Giuliani was often at the forefront of changing narratives from Trump’s camp on key points of the probe.

Source: Business Insider

Giuliani grew to be a controversial figure after growing closer to the Trump administration and its scandals. Notably, he was booed at a Yankees game after a stadium-wide announcement wished him a happy birthday.

Elsa/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider

In one of his many lively television appearances, Giuliani perplexed “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd in August 2018 with a claim that Mueller could trap Trump in an interview because “truth isn’t truth.”

NBCRudy Giuliani appears on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ with host Chuck Todd on August 19, 2018.

Source: Business Insider

Later in August 2018, Giuliani was the first among Trump’s associates to admit that the the controversial 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between campaign officials and a Kremlin-linked attorney was to get “dirt” on his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Screenshot via NBC

Source: Business Insider

Giuliani later waved off investigators’ focus on Trump’s contact with Russians as a whole, saying that even if there was collusion, “collusion isn’t a crime.”

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Source: Business Insider

By December 2018, Giuliani had also dismissed payments meant to silence women who said they had affairs with Trump, one of whom was porn star Stormy Daniels, as “not a crime,” days after Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen was sentenced in part for facilitating the payments.

Mary Altaffer/AP, bothMichael Cohen and Stormy Daniels.

Source: Business Insider

Giuliani has been at the centre of the Ukraine scandal that has prompted the House to launch an impeachment inquiry into Trump. A memo of Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky showed Trump said Giuliani would give him a call to talk about Joe Biden’s alleged corruption, which hasn’t been substantiated.

Source: Business Insider

A whistleblower complaint said Giuliani was a “central figure” in Trump “pressuring a foreign president to investigate one of the President’s main domestic political rivals.”

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Source: Business Insider

Giuliani has said he’ll be the “hero” in this scandal, and has called the whistleblower complaint “crap”. House Democrats will likely bring him in for questioning in the impeachment inquiry.

Fox NewsRudy Giuliani on Fox News with host Laura Ingraham on Tuesday night, where he said he dealt with Ukraine at the State Department’s request.

Sources: BusinessInsider, The Atlantic

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