William Rodriguez, is a native of Puerto Rico, a citizen of the United States, and a resident of the State of New Jersey. On September 11, 2001, and for approximately nineteen years prior thereto, Rodriguez was employed as a maintenance worker at the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York, New York.
On 9/11, Rodriguez single-handedly rescued fifteen (15) persons from the WTC, and as Rodriguez was the only person at the site with the master key to the North Tower stairwells, he bravely led firefighters up the stairwell, unlocking doors as they ascended, thereby aiding in the successful evacuation of unknown hundreds of those who survived. Rodriguez, at great risk to his own life, re-entered the Towers three times after the first, North Tower impact at about 8:46 A.M., and is believed to be the last person to exit the North Tower alive, surviving the building's collapse by diving beneath a fire truck. After receiving medical attention at the WTC site for his injuries, Rodriguez spent the rest of 9/11 aiding as a volunteer in the rescue efforts, and at dawn the following morning, was back at Ground Zero continuing his heroic efforts.
Rodriguez lost his employment of 19 years and his means of earning a living as a direct result of the attacks on the WTC on 9/11. Deeply affected, as one might imagine, by his experiences of 9/11, Rodriguez has, in a variety of capacities and through several different organizations, worked ever since that terrible day to help others who were affected by the atrocities committed. He has continued in these labors, notwithstanding the fact that, due to the loss of his employment, he has been unable to earn a living, and was even homeless for a time.