This man, of Puerto Rican origin, is one of the national heroes of the United States. On September 11, 2001, and during the previous 19 years he was the cleaning manager of the World Trade Center. On September 11, after the attack on the Twin Towers, William Rodríguez personally rescued, initially 15 people, and then went back into the burning building and helped 4 more people in the basement, including two more who were stuck in a freight elevator about to suffocate.
Since that moment he was the only person with a master key of the North Tower, he directed the firemen to the stairs, opening doors on their way up, successfully managing the evacuation of hundreds of survivors. William went back in three more times into the North Tower after the impact at around 8:46 in the morning and it is believed he was the last person to get out alive from the tower, surviving the collapse of the building by safeguarding himself under a fire truck.
After being rescued from the debris, Rodríguez received first aid on sight and spent the rest of the day as a rescue volunteer. The next day he was back in Zone Zero to continue his heroic labor. After the attack, he lost the job he had had during 19 years. Severely affected, he has dedicated his life to helping the victims and the affected by the atrocities committed. He successfully fought for legislation to help the community, especially immigrants.
One of his most noted successes was to obtain an economic amnesty for the undocumented victims, a historic event that catapulted him to the national political peephole. He founded the Group of Hispanic Victims of the World Trade Center, through which he helps more than 150 affected families.
For his heroic acts and humanitarian actions, William Rodríguez has received various recognitions, these include the National Hero and the Latin Pride National Awards for his Leadership in the Community and Excellence, the appointment as National Hero by the Senate of Puerto Rico and Honorary Firefighter, as well as National Hero in Chile.
He has traveled the world giving lectures on overcoming difficult situations applied to the business world, crisis management, conspiracy theories about the attacks and leadership.