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autobiography Leadership, written by Rudolph Giuliani and Ken Kurson as the main resource for this biography of Giuliani. I have chose Rudy Giuliani for exemplary leadership because of his charisma, his fearless attitude, and the way he managed the crisis in New York City after the terrorist bombings of September 11, 2001. While Mr. Giuliani certainly is not a perfect man, he showed remarkable skill, empathy, and leadership when New York City (and the nation) needed it the most.
In addition, Mr. Giuliani is a charismatic man, and before the terrorist bombings, he was a controversial leader at best. Not everyone liked or admired him. He sometimes seems to have an abrasive and grating personality. I was interested to see how his persona before and after the terrorist attacks changed, and how he came to be a hero in the hearts and minds of a nation that had largely ignored him before the attacks. I wanted to learn about his background, his childhood, and what led up to his leadership style. I also wanted to find out what he has been doing since he left the mayor's office, because he seems to have faded from sight and the public mind. I think Rudy Giuliani is a hero for how he handled things in the hours, days, and months after September 11, and I think most of the nation does, too. He may not be a perfect man, few men are, but he is certainly an excellent example of exemplary leadership when leadership was the only thing that could get New York through its' crisis and back on its feet.
Rudolph William Louis Giuliani was born on May 28, 1944, in Brooklyn, New York. He grew up in a close-knit family surrounded by relatives and friends that all lived on the same street in Brooklyn. He was a bright boy from a young age, and enjoyed history and the opera. His father, however, had a long and checkered criminal record that caused Rudy grief throughout his life. When he was only one-month-old, he was baptized in the Catholic Church, and attended the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic elementary school from kindergarten until his family moved from Brooklyn to Long Island in 1951, and Rudy again attended a private Catholic school. The new neighborhood in Long Island was a "planned" community that did not include blacks, Jews, or other minorities. In an unofficial biography, author Wayne Barrett notes, "From the catechism, Rudy learned a stark and unbending system that delineated venial sins and mortal sins, sanctifying grace and actual grace" (Barrett, 2000, p. 30). He also began listening to opera at the age of 14, creating a love of opera that has been constant throughout his life. In 1959, the Giuliani's moved to Bellmore, and even more upscale Long Island neighborhood.
In 1957, Rudy was admitted to Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School in Brooklyn, another private school that stressed academics and a long list of attendance rules. Throughout his educational life, Rudy always attended strict, regimented schools, and this had to color his leadership ideas and style. At one point, Rudy had thought of becoming a priest, and he had high ideals about what was moral and right. Author Barrett continues, "His relatives recall him as a hardworking student, never unwilling to do his homework. Rudy himself would later state that one of his teachers had told his father that 'my grades were very good -- I was one of the brightest kids in the class . . .'" (Barrett, 2000, p. 34). By the time he was a senior, he was also known as the "class politician," and he began to see a career as a lawyer or doctor ahead of him, instead of the priesthood (Barrett, 2000, p. 36). Giuliani attended Manhattan College, run by the same group, the Christian Brothers, who operated Loughlin High School. Barrett continues, "The academic challenge at Manhattan was rigorous, with a hefty 148 credits necessary to obtain the bachelor of arts degree. A political philosophy major, Rudy slogged through the required literature, history and fine arts courses" (Barrett, 2000, p. 49). Rudy was a serious student who did not seem to have room for fun. Even his mother told him to "loosen up" on occasion (Barrett, 2000, p. 49). Rudy's first electoral victory was the president of the sophomore class at Manhattan, which he won easily. He also joined a fraternity on campus and became its' president. He then attended New York University Law School, and graduated in 1968. He began his career in law clerking for a judge before he entered the U.S. Attorney's office in New York as an assistant U.S. Attorney. Interestingly, Giuliani clerked for Judge Lloyd MacMahon, who was deemed one of the "worst" judges in America in 1980, and who was called "arbitrary" and "capricious," by his colleagues (Barrett, 2000, p. 68-69). Since many of these terms have also been used against Giuliani from time to time, speculation is common that he may have learned many of these techniques and ideas from this judge, who he greatly admired at the time. Becoming a U.S. Attorney had been his goal when he graduated from law school, and he threw himself into the job, working long hours and trying numerous cases. Giuliani spent five years at the U.S. District Attorney's office and built an impressive career there, but Giuliani had other ambitions as his career moved forward.
Of course, not everyone is a fan of Rudy Giuliani. Many of his harshest critics are those who supported him in the past, such as his unofficial biographer Wayne Barrett, who was once close friends with Giuliani. He often notes how Rudy has a habit of overstating his accomplishments. He writes, "Rudy has often boasted of convicting hordes of corrupt cops -- forty-three is the number he cites. The total number of convicted cops listed in the Southern District's 'Report of Activities' for the period Rudy ran the corruption unit -- June 1973 to September 1975 -- is ten" (Barrett, 2000, p. 82). Another vocal critic is former New York Mayor Edward Koch, who wrote a book about him titled "Giuliani: Nasty Man." The book contains dozens of columns Koch wrote for the New York Daily News, most of which are highly critical of Giuliani and his leadership of New York City while he was mayor. Koch writes, "As 1995 unfolded, New Yorkers began to see more and more of the authoritarian side of its 107th mayor [Giuliani]. We began to learn that Rudy is not content to prevail; he must destroy his opponents" (Koch, 1999, p. 11). Another reporter notes, "Most interesting, [ ... ] was that a man with a reputation of arrogance in many quarters in Gotham -- especially in the era before the attacks -- admitted that all the hours he spent listening to organized crime tapes early in his career may have 'warped his personality'" (Bielski, 2003, p. 8). Giuliani's family background included ties to organized crime, gambling and bookmaking, and many other illegal activities. While he turned his professional career against these activities, they also must have colored his young life, and helped mold him into the man he became -- strong, sometimes arrogant, and sure of his own power and ability.
When he ran for mayor, he ran a Republican ticket in a long-time Democratic city and state. Reporter Andrea Bernstein writes, "Meanwhile, Giuliani, the former flashy federal prosecutor, had a more popular message: Cut government, bring in the private sector wherever possible and reduce crime" (Bernstein, 1997). He managed to do just that, which helped his popularity immensely. After his loss to David Dinkins for the mayor's job in 1989, Giuliani spent almost all of his time preparing for the 1993 election, when he ran against Dinkins and won. He installed many of his long-time supporters and family in high positions in the government. His appointments secretary was Tony Carbonetti, the twenty-five-year-old son of Lou Carbonetti Jr., who became director of the Community Assistance Unit. Richard Schwartz, a key campaign staffer became the special policy adviser, and John Gross, a good friend from the U.S. Attorney's office was treasurer of the campaign committee and a political adviser. In addition, of course there was Denny Young, a long time friend and confidant who became "Consul to the Mayor" (Giuliani & Kurson, 2002, p. 31). There were more appointments such as this, and many changes to city government. At first, Giuliani's popularity soared as he cleaned up the streets of homeless people, reduced crime, and helped beautify several rundown areas of town, including Times Square.
However, his popularity did not remain high, especially after his re-election in 1997. In fact, Giuliani's popularity had dropped considerably with New Yorkers before the September 11 attacks, and it was only his strong leadership skills that made his popularity soar as he handled the aftermath of the attacks. He was known as a vindictive and authoritarian mayor, who ruled with…[continue]
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