NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Former Deputy Mayor Peter Powers, the right-hand man to Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, has died at the age of 72.
Powers died Wednesday morning after a fight with lung cancer, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.
Powers served as deputy mayor from 1994 until 1996, and was credited by many with leading the reform of the city during Giuliani’s early days as mayor, according to a news release.
Lamb spoke with Giuliani about Powers’ impact on the city. The former mayor described Powers as one of the greatest deputy mayors in city history because he presided over one of the fastest and most thorough turnarounds.
“The city was the crime capital of America. It had more people on welfare than any city in the country,” Giuliani said. “By the time he left as deputy mayor it was pointed in a completely different direction.”
Giuliani says many of the changes had to do with “Peter Powers’ ability to manage, Peter Powers’ ability to organize people, Peter Powers’ ability to inspire people.
“Peter was my friend for 58 years,” Giuliani continued. “We went to high school, college and law school together.”
Giuliani said Powers was the person he trusted the most.
Powers was born in Queens in 1944, and attended Manhattan College and NYU Law School. He became a certified public accountant and practiced tax law before taking over Giuliani’s run for mayor in 1989, the release said. Giuliani lost the 1989 race by 2 percent, but won four years later.
Powers remained a political and business adviser to Giuliani after leaving City Hall, and later founded Powers Global Strategies, through which he advised numerous multinational corporations on government relations matters, a news release said.