NEW YORK — By September 2001, many New Yorkers had grown weary of lame-duck Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

That all changed the morning of September 11th. From the moment he took a NY1 microphone and addressed the city, there was no doubt who was in charge.

“Everyone in the city should remain calm,” he told the cameras as he walked through lower Manhattan. “The very best thing to do right now would be to remain home.”

What You Need To Know

  • Rudy Giuliani became known as “America’s Mayor” for his steady leadership after the terror attacks of 9/1

  • Beginning in 2016, he became one of Donald Trump’s most loyal lieutenants and later his personal attorney

  • He led the effort to subvert the 2020 election, traveling the country peddling baseless conspiracy theories

  • Giuliani is now under investigation by federal prosecutors for his business dealings in Ukraine

Giuliani’s steady leadership on 9/11 and in the days and weeks to follow was almost unassailable. He projected strength and resilience, while at the same time showing emotion and profound empathy.

Such was his popularity, his endorsement of political neophyte Michael Bloomberg helped propel him to victory.

After leaving office, Giuliani went into the private sector, then mounted a run for president in 2008, seeking to capitalize on his national profile. He was an early front-runner, even leading some polls, but his strategy of banking on the Florida primary flopped. He dropped out before Super Tuesday.

Fast-forward to 2016, when Giuliani hitched his wagon to Donald Trump. His rhetoric seemed to grow darker.

He would become one of Trump’s most loyal lieutenants and eventually his personal attorney, defending his every move.

His efforts to dig up dirt on the Biden family placed him at the center of the Ukrainian pressure campaign that got Trump impeached. Then, in the aftermath of the 2020 election, Giuliani led the effort to subvert the results, traveling the country peddling baseless conspiracy theories.

“We cannot allow these crooks — because that’s what they are — to steal an election from the American people,” he falsely claimed at a news conference. “They elected Donald Trump. They didn’t elect Joe Biden.”

In January, he helped rile up the crowd before the storming of the Capitol, declaring: “Let’s have trial by combat.”

By now, many New Yorkers had come to regard Giuliani as unhinged, out of touch with reality. He’s continued to make public appearances, like a recent news conference bashing Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The mayor has several problems,” Giuliani said. “He is lazy, and he’s stupid.”

But he is now routinely interrupted by hecklers. Giuliani also recently had his law license suspended.

And he faces a bigger problem than public perception: he’s under investigation by federal prosecutors for his business dealings in Ukraine.


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