Thomas Von Essen

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Thomas Von Essen (born 1945 in Brooklyn, New York) was appointed the 30th FDNY Commissioner of the City of New York by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani on April 15, 1996 and served in that position until the end of the Rudolph Giuliani Administration on December 31, 2001, nearly four months after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Von Essen is a graduate of St. Francis College, class of '72.

In 2002 he was made an Honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Queen Elizabeth II.[1]

In 1993 Von Essen was elected as President of the Uniformed Firefighters Association representing the department's firefighters. He was formerly a Senior Vice-President at Giuliani Partners and Chief Executive Officer of Giuliani-Von Essen LLC.[citation needed]


He and his wife, Rita, have four children; the youngest is actor and singer, and Tony nominee Max von Essen (né Thomas von Essen, II).


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Fire appointments
Preceded by
Howard Safir
FDNY Commissioner
Succeeded by
Nicholas Scoppetta