If Giuliani's 37-year career as a public servant reveals anything, it's that he's a law-and-order guy.
First as a US attorney who with equal zeal took on Wall Street titans and Mafia dons, and then as a two-term mayor who made safe streets his top priority, Giuliani found high-profile outlets for righting what he believed were wrongs and bringing order where there was chaos.
"Rudy's moral, ethical, and issues core comes from his Catholicism," says Doug Muzzio, a longtime Giuliani watcher. "The fact that he went to Catholic grammar school, high school, and college fundamentally shaped his orientation and character – the discipline and order."
That sense of discipline is evident in his own work ethic, say those who know him. Indeed, a chapter in his book is entitled "Prepare Relentlessly."
"It's striking – his emphasis on work and discipline," says Fred Siegel, author of "The Prince of the City: Giuliani, New York and the Genius of American Life." "Work is central to his self-definition and his sense of what people should be."
His drive to correct what needs correcting was matched by a certain ingenuity in approach, say admirers. Giuliani wasn't the first US prosecutor to use a federal racketeering law to go after the Mafia, but he was the first to use it in a big way, indicting 11 organized-crime figures at once in 1985. His stated goal: "to wipe out the five families" that ran La Cosa Nostra, according to a Time magazine article.
Likewise, when he was elected mayor in 1993, Giuliani saw an opportunity to "fix" his hometown. Four years earlier, a Time magazine cover had dubbed it the ungovernable "Rotting Apple," and it was still dirty, crime-ridden, and deeply in debt when he moved into City Hall. With the ardor of an operatic protagonist and the discipline of a Yankee-in-training, Giuliani took on the city's vested interests. He cut taxes, slashed the budget, and forced the mob out of the fish markets.