- NAME: Geraldine A. Ferraro
- OCCUPATION: Women's Rights Activist, Lawyer, Diplomat, U.S. Representative
- BIRTH DATE: August 26, 1935
- DEATH DATE: March 26, 2011
- EDUCATION: Marymount Manhattan College, Fordham University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Newburgh, New York
- PLACE OF DEATH: Boston, Massachusetts
- Full Name: Geraldine Anne Ferraro
- AKA: Geraldine A. Ferraro
- AKA: Geraldine Ferraro
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Geraldine A. Ferraro was a member of Congress and the first woman to run for the U.S. vice presidency on a major party platform.
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Born on August 26, 1935, in Newburgh, New York, Geraldine A. Ferraro worked as an assistant district attorney before being elected as a Democrat to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1978. Ferraro was the first woman to chair her party's 1984 platform committee and the first female vice presidential nominee, running with Walter Mondale. She later worked for the U.N. and with Hillary Clinton. She died on March 26,
"You don't have to have fought in a war to love peace."
2011, in Boston, Massachusetts.
Born on August 26, 1935, in Newburgh, New York, Geraldine Anne Ferraro broke new ground for women in 1984 as the first female vice presidential running mate for a major political party. Recently, however, she has been making waves with her comments about Senator Barack Obama during the battle to become the 2008 Democratic presidential candidate. From a working-class Italian-American background, she lost her father was she was only eight years old. Her mother moved with Ferraro and her brother to the South Bronx where she worked as seamstress.
After attending the Marymount School, Geraldine A. Ferraro went to Marymount Manhattan College at the age of 16 on a scholarship. She graduated in 1956 and soon after became a teacher in the New York City public school system. Interested in a legal career, Ferraro took night classes at Fordham University where she earned her law degree in 1960.
That same year, Ferraro married realtor John Zaccaro. The couple had three children, Donna, John Jr., and Laura. While her children were young, she worked in private practice. In 1974, Ferraro began her career in public service, becoming an assistant district attorney in Queens County. One of her most notable contributions to district attorney’s office was creating the special victims bureau, which prosecuted a variety of cases involving crimes against children and the elderly as well as sexual offenses and domestic abuse.
A Democrat, Geraldine A. Ferraro made her first bid for office in 1978, seeking election to the House of Representatives for the New York City’s ninth district. In her home turf of Queens, she positioned herself as a politician tough on crime and as a person who understood the struggles of the working class. Ferraro won the election and proved to be a Democrat on the rise.
During her three terms in office, Ferraro fought for women’s rights, urging the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. She also became a fierce opponent of President Ronald Reagan and his economic policies, objecting to possible cuts to social security and Medicare programs. Ferraro served on several committees, including the Public Works Committee and the Budget Committee. As one of the few women in Congress at the time, she became a powerful symbol to the feminist movement.
Within the Democratic Party, Ferraro evolved in one of the party’s elite members. In her second term, she was chosen to be the secretary of the Democratic Caucus, which meant that she had a role in the planning the party’s future direction and policies.
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