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7 Things to Know About Rudy Giuliani

Associated Press

1) He survived prostate cancer, a disease that took his father's life. From the Associated Press in 2005:

Five years after his diagnosis, Giuliani is still cancer-free and he's doing a lot of talking about his disease -- one that remains tricky to treat.

He joins a list of prominent survivors that includes Joe Torre, Norman Schwarzkopf, Bob Dole and Michael Milken. Prostate cancer took the lives of actor Jerry Orbach and musician Frank Zappa.

These days, Giuliani gets calls from men around the world seeking support and advice on doctors. Since prostate cancer took his father's life, New York's one-time Mafia prosecutor has learned to tackle another kind of enemy: fear.

2) He was widely praised for his handling of the 9/11 terror attacks while he was Mayor of New York City. From The Economist:

THE calm unyielding (yet racially and religiously inclusive) leadership of Rudolph Giuliani on September 11th 2001 transformed the mayor of New York into a national hero, dubbed “America's mayor” by Oprah Winfrey. To the outside world... Mr Giuliani came to symbolise all that was most impressive about America's response to the terrorist attacks. His heroism during the crisis has made “Sir” Rudy (he was knighted in 2002 by Queen Elizabeth).

3) He started an opera club in high school. From The Chicago Tribune: 

The teenager was influential with peers early on; even boys who didn't care at all for opera joined the opera club Giuliani founded. At least one of the charter members, Peter Powers, would become a lifelong business and political associate.

His closest friends knew Giuliani had been practicing since childhood the art of persuasion, something encouraged during Sunday family gatherings at his grandmother's Long Island home.

4) He seriously considered becoming a Roman Catholic priest. From the Christian Science Monitor:

Born and raised a Roman Catholic, educated in rigorous parochial schools, Giuliani says he even seriously considered becoming a priest "at least twice." But the thrice-married former prosecutor now declines to talk about his religious beliefs, calling them a private affair.

5) He's a lifelong Yankees fan, but caused a stir when he rooted for the Red Sox in 2007 World Series. From the Associated Press: 

Rudy Giuliani, a lifelong New York Yankees fan, said Tuesday he's pulling for their most hated rivals, the Boston Red Sox, to win the World Series over the Colorado Rockies.

"I'm rooting for the Red Sox," the Republican presidential contender said in response to a question, sparking applause at the Boston restaurant where he was picking up a local endorsement.

"I'm an American League fan, and I go with the American League team, maybe with the exception of the Mets," he said. "Maybe that would be the one time I wouldn't because I'm loyal to New York."

Giuliani's Yankees lost in the first round of the playoffs...

6) He made a name for himself in the 1980's for being a crime fighter as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. From the New York Times:

Every era has a law-enforcement figure or two who captures the public imagination, who turns the job of police officer or prosecutor into ''crime buster'' and makes the fight against evil appear to be a personal vendetta. ... 

Of late, Rudolph W. Giuliani, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, has marched into this arena. Since his appointment in 1983 to a four-year term as Federal prosecutor, Giuliani has succeeded in making his name well known from an office usually out of the public eye -even though many of his biggest cases are still awaiting trial. The Italian Government has presented the 41-year-old Giuliani with an award for battling the Mafia.

7) This Sunday will be Giuliani's 18th appearance on Meet the Press.