Subscribe to EIR Online


The Giuliani Story

Nov. 9, 2007 (EIRNS)—Early in his crime career, Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani's father, Harold Giuliani, was sent to Sing Sing prison for armed robbery.

As reported by Wayne Barrett in his 2000 book Rudy! An Investigative Biography of Rudolph Giuliani, Harold Giuliani and an accomplice held up a milk deliverer in Manhattan on April 2, 1934. The indictment ("People v. Harold Giuliani indicted as Jospeh Starrett," the false name Harold gave the police) charged that Harold had threatened the milkman with a pistol to get his money.

But a week later, the victim changed his story, saying Giuliani's accomplice (who has never been identified) had held the gun. Prosecutor Louis Capozzoli told the judge, the "milkman tried to change his statement after he was visited at about four o'clock that morning by several people who threatened him. Then he said he thought this fellow [Giuliani] ought to get a break."

So the charge was reduced from first degree armed robbery to third degree, and Rudy's father was sentenced to only two to five years in Sing Sing prison.

The court-appointed psychiatrist reported that Harold was "a personality deviate of the aggressive, egocentric type.... pathological" with "haphazard associations."

Harold served one year and four months, was paroled, and married Helen D'Avanzo.

Rudy, their only child, was born in 1944.

Beginning in 1948, Harold Giuliani went to work for Helen's brother Leo D'Avanzo, as an enforcer for Leo's loan-sharking, numbers and betting operations. Harold broke legs and beat people with a baseball bat, collecting large sums. The family crime business was based in Leo's bar in Brooklyn, and employed more than a dozen numbers runners.

At one point in 1962, Harold and his brother-in-law and boss Leo, and Leo's son Lewis, drove to the headquarters of rival mobster Mickey Scans and shot it out with him. They were then sanctioned by Mafia overlords because their rival was a "made" man.

Harold's nephew and crime cohort Lewis D'Avanzo (Leo's son, Rudy's first cousin) forged documents and apparently carried out murders as part of a quarter-billion-dollar car-theft operation under the Luchese crime ring. In 1977, Lewis was shot to death by the FBI, when he tried to run over an arresting agent.

Harold's son Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer and prosecutor, changed his party registration to Republican in December, 1980, following Ronald Reagan's election. The next month, Giuliani was nominated as Associate Attorney General. His father Harold died in April, 1981, while Rudy's confirmation was pending before the Senate. In their standard interview, the FBI asked him if anything in his background might cause embarrassment if revealed. Rudy said no.

Sworn in in May, 1981, Rudy principally aided then-Vice President George H. W. Bush in Bush's role as head of the administration's anti-drug enterprise in Central and South America. As "point man" for Bush, Rudy made frequent trips to Miami — the hub of Bush's operations overseeing the covert Contra apparatus of Oliver North and his cocaine traffickers.

In 1982-1983, Rudy was a candidate to be U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Organized crime lawyer Roy Cohn put his law partner Tom Bolan onto the Screening Panel for the post, created by Cohn's friend, Senator Al D'Amato. D'Amato then sponsored Rudy's candidacy for the job.

In June, 1983, Giuliani was installed as U.S. Attorney. That same month, Mario Gigante — a client of Roy Cohn and the brother of mob boss "Chin" Gigante — was sentenced to eight years in prison for loan-sharking and extortion. In the Fall of 1984, Senato D'Amato phoned Rudy to suggest Gigante was not a bad man and the government should go easy on him. Then Judge Charles Stewart approved, without comment, a two-year reduction in Mario Gigante's prison term. Vincent "the Fish" Cafaro, on orders from mob boss "Chin" Gigante, thereupon delivered a $175,000 cash payment to Cohn's office.

In 1985, Senator D'Amato again called Giuliani, this time to ask for reconsideration of pending charges against Paul Castellano, alleged chief of the Mafia's "National Commission." Castellano was granted bail, only to be assassinated.

Back to top