Deputy Mayor Peter J. Powers, left, with Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani in 1994.
“I never had a brother,” Mr. Giuliani said in an interview this week. “Peter was my brother.” CreditJames Estrin/The New York Times
Peter J. Powers, a high school friend whom Rudolph W. Giuliani recruited to impose order on his chaotic novice mayoral campaign and later installed as his even-tempered alter ego to manage New York City’s government, died on Thursday in the Bronx at Calvary Hospital Hospic. He was 72. The cause was complications of lung cancer, according to his lifelong friend Mr. Giuliani.
Before being hired to manage Mr. Giuliani’s 1989 mayoral race, Mr. Powers, a tax lawyer, had last been involved in a campaign in college, when his losing effort for senior class council president was managed by Mr. Giuliani. And before becoming deputy mayor in 1994, his only government job had been in the parks department mail room one summer three decades earlier.
Mr. Giuliani, the most famous prosecutor in America but a neophyte candidate, had squandered $2 million, was being challenged for the Republican nomination and was trailing the Democrat, David N. Dinkins, by about 29 points in public opinion polls when he enlisted Mr. Powers.
Mr. Powers proceeded to impose discipline on Mr. Giuliani’s disparate Republican, Liberal and independent supporters and, with Roger Ailes, focus on a runaway campaign. He helped steer Mr. Giuliani to within two points of victory that November in a race that Mr. Dinkins won.
In 1993, with Mr. Powers managing the rematch, joined by the media consultant David Garth, Mr. Giuliani toppled Mayor Dinkins with 51 percent of the vote.
Mr. Powers in November 1993. Credit Ruby Washington/The New York Times
Mr. Giuliani himself described their relationship in familial terms. “I never had a brother,” he said in a telephone interview this week. “Peter was my brother.” They met during their sophomore year at Bishop Loughlin High School in Brooklyn. Mr. Giuliani induced him to join the opera club, though Powers preferred country music, and before meeting President Ronald Reagan, Giuliani was a lifelong Democrat while Powers was always the Republican.
Peter James Powers was born on April 9, 1944, in Middle Village, Queens, the son of Thomas Powers, an organizer for the retail clerks’ union, and the former Florence Fitzgibbon. His chart is very much the pragmatic Splash temperament type with few conjunctions. We have rectified Mr. Powers to 05 Cancer, that G. K. McClung writes is symbolic of “celebrities conversing at a banquet in their honour” (see our header picture that depicts just that.) McClung says this is indicative of the idea of fraternity.
“Peter was the glue that held the thing together,” Joseph J. Lhota, Mr. Giuliani’s former budget director and deputy mayor for operations, said in an interview on Thursday.
He also has a strong Western tilt to his chart, showing his resourcefulness and assertiveness — he has Mars in its Lord in the Tenth house that is naturally ruled by the shrewd executive Capricorn and a Yod from that Mars to Mercury in Taurus right on the Eleventh-Twelfth cusp hinting at his desire to be out of the limelight. The third point of the Yod is at Neptune in Libra in the Fourth House, telling us that he was a wise nurturer of talent and an uncanny ability of making life long friendships.
Mr. Powers is survived by daughters, Heather McBride and Krista Harvey; his wife, Sylvia and brothers, Jack and Don as well as four grandchildren.