Geraldine Ferraro Dies at Age 75

Ferraro loses her battle with multiple myeloma

(RxWiki News) “My name is Geraldine Ferraro. I stand before you to proclaim tonight: America is the land where dreams can come true for all of us."

Ferraro, a three-term congresswoman from Queens, NY and first woman to be on a major party’s presidential ticket as Walter Mondale’s 1984 vice-presidential candidate, died at Massachusetts General Hospital.

According to a statement released by her family, the cause of death was complications from multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that Ferraro had battled for twelve years.

Ferraro broke many barriers and was considered a great trailblazer for women in politics. Her nomination for vice-president was widely considered a hail mary pass from Walter Mondale, whose campaign was in trouble due to the magnetic charisma and popularity of incumbent President Ronald Reagan.

In her vice-presidential run, she ultimately overshadowed Walter Mondale with her rock star appeal as the first female to run for vice-president. Amid the media attention, her campaign finances came under attack. All of this media scrutiny ultimately turned on her husband, John Zaccaro, and his business dealings.

In 1960, Ferraro graduated with a law degree from Fordham University. Initially, she practiced law in the private sector. In 1974, she became an assistant Queens district attorney where she headed the office's special victims' bureau, which was responsible for prosecuting sex crimes and the abuse of children and the elderly. In 1978, she won the first of three terms in Congress representing blue-collar Queens.

After her vice-presidential campaign, she became a fellow of the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In 1992, she tried re-enter politics as a U.S. Senator, but was unable to secure the Democratic nomination from her own state of New York.

After her 1992 Senate run, she became an advocate for women raped during ethnic conflict in the former Yugoslavia. President Bill Clinton then appointed her as ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission.

1996 found her as a co-host on CNN's "Crossfire," but she left for another bid to secure the 1998 New York Democratic nomination for Senator. Ferraro only received 26 percent of the vote. In June 1999, she joined a Washington, D.C., area public relations firm to head a group advising clients on women's issues. In 2001, she disclosed her diagnosis of blood cancer.

An inspirational life, that made a measurable difference. 







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Review Date: 
March 26, 2011