Thug Life

The Shocking Secret History of Harold Giuliani, the Mayor’s Ex-Convict Dad

After more than a year living in Bayside, Harold suffered such severe pain from his prostate cancer that he had trouble walking. He quit Gotham Maintenance. His routine checkups at North Shore hospital became more frequent. Lina remembered Harold telling her about his doctor's warnings. "The doctor, he tell him, 'You have to be operated on,' " she recalled. But when it came to surgery, the proud man was obstinate. "Nobody is going to touch my balls!" Harold declared to Lina one afternoon in the garden.

On some nights, racked with pain, Harold would roll out of bed and fall onto the floor, helpless, unable to move. Helen would rush downstairs and rouse Joe Merli, who would help hoist the stubborn, tortured old man back into bed.

Illustration by Tim Gabor

Research assistance: Jennifer Warren

•This source, referred to subsequently as "Lewis's friend," provided critical details of the criminal histories of Leo and Lewis D'Avanzo and Harold Giuliani, including the fact that Harold had "done time" at Sing Sing. Court documents and other records confirmed more than a half-dozen pieces of information he supplied. None of his information proved to be incorrect. A close friend of Lewis's, this source is also a convicted felon, with a criminal record dating back to the '60s.

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