On September 11, 2001, members of the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda carried out four coordinated terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. The attacks killed nearly 3,000 people, most of whom died with the collapse of the Twin Towers in New York City.
New York City mayor Rudolph “Rudy” Giuliani was lauded for his leadership in the aftermath of the attacks. He made a number of appearances on TV* and radio. Oprah Winfrey dubbed him “America’s Mayor.”
On the last day of 2001, Time magazine declared Giuliani “Person of the Year.” (That day was also Giuliani’s last day as mayor, incidentally). Time said:
With the President out of sight for most of that day, Giuliani became the voice of America. Every time he spoke, millions of people felt a little better. His words were full of grief and iron, inspiring New York to inspire the nation. “Tomorrow New York is going to be here,” he said. “And we’re going to rebuild, and we’re going to be stronger than we were before…I want the people of New York to be an example to the rest of the country, and the rest of the world, that terrorism can’t stop us.”
And in 2002, we see the baby name Giuliani appear for the very first time in the SSA’s baby name data:
- 2003: unlisted
- 2002: 6 baby boys named Giuliani [debut]
- 2001: unlisted
*Later in September, Rudy Giuliani was featured in the Saturday Night Live “9/11 Tribute” (video) that memorably ended with this short exchange between Lorne Michaels and Giuliani: “Can we be funny?” “Why start now?”
Source: Pooley, Eric. “Mayor of the World.” Time 31 Dec. 2001.
P.S. Fr. Mychal Judge, the first official casualty of 9/11, also had an impact on baby names in the early 2000s.