Rudy Giuliani — Trump’s lawyer, defender, cheerleader

Rudy Giuliani — Trump's lawyer, defender, cheerleader


Rudy Giuliani addresses the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit in Palm Beach, Fla., Dec. 19, 2019. (Getty Images)

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is scheduled to speak at the Republican National Convention on its closing night. Once known as “America’s Mayor” for his steadfast leadership in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, Giuliani has had a mixed career after leaving office. He has seen his monetary fortunes rise but his political fortunes fizzle out.

Rudolph W. Giuliani, 76, served two terms as mayor of New York City during which he took credit for falling crime and rising financial prosperity and said his administration showed that the city, often regarded as ungovernable, could indeed be tamed. 

Although he was reelected in 1997 with 58% of the vote in a city in which registered Democrats outnumber Republicans five to one, Giuliani saw his popularity wane in the final year or so of his mayoralty amid tensions between the NYPD and communities of color, turmoil in his marriage and personal life, and an economic slowdown.

But after 9/11, Giuliani garnered national attention and respect for shepherding a shaken, damaged, and uneasy city. In December 2001, Time magazine named him Person of the Year.

In 2007 and early 2008, Giuliani ran for the GOP nomination for president. But he fared poorly in the early contests and dropped out. 

In 2016, Giuliani threw his support behind Donald Trump for president and gave a primetime address at that summer’s RNC.

Since 2018, the former mayor joined President Trump’s legal team and became his personal lawyer, but a large part of his role appears to be making public statements and media appearances to defend the president amid the numerous controversies and scandals that have gripped the White House, including Trump’s impeachment.

In that time, he has also weathered controversies and potential legal troubles of his own, including the indictment of two of his associates on campaign-finance charges. However, the president has stood by Giuliani even as some members of his administration have reportedly urged Trump to cut ties with his old friend.

Giuliani was married to Regina Peruggi from 1968 to 1982, Donna Hanover from 1984 to 2002, and Judith Nathan from 2003 to 2019. He has two children with Hanover.

Some key dates in Giuliani’s life and career:

  • 1944: Born in Brooklyn
  • 1965: Graduates from Manhattan College in the Bronx
  • 1968: Graduates magna cum laude from New York University Law School
  • 1981: Appointed associate U.S. attorney general
  • 1983: Appointed U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York
  • 1989: Runs for mayor of New York City; loses to David Dinkins
  • 1993: Elected mayor in a rematch against Dinkins
  • 1997: Reelected mayor, defeating Ruth Messinger
  • 2000: Runs for U.S. Senate against First Lady Hillary Clinton; withdraws from the race after revealing he has prostate cancer and announcing he is divorcing his second wife, Donna Hanover, amid revelations of his extra-marital relationship with Judith Nathan
  • 2001: Named Time magazine’s Person of the Year
  • 2002: Embarks on various lucrative ventures, including opportunities in public speaking, consulting, business, and the law
  • 2008: Runs unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for president
  • 2016: Supports Donald Trump for president
  • 2017: Serves as an informal adviser to the president
  • 2018: Becomes personal lawyer to the president


Rudy Giuliani appears on Good Day New York