Geraldine Anne Ferraro: An Italian American, New Yorker and A First Class Lady

The Daily Mail

Geraldine Anne Ferraro was born on August 26, 1935 in Newburgh, New York.  She passed to her final rest March 26, 2011 in Boston.

Geraldine Ferraro was in a class of her own as it relates to American history and politics. She stood for what she believed in and took a lot of flack for it, especially on women’s rights, environmental issues and human rights.

She wasn’t perfect. However, who is on this planet traversing the cosmos?

Her legacy is assured not because she was the first woman on a presidential ticket.  She was a compassionate human being who worked tirelessly for the good of others. For this her place here on earth and whatever place there may be for her in the cosmic ocean are a sure win, a landside beyond comprehension.

To her family, friends, and supporters, may you remember the Lady who meant so much to so many people on this earth.  Your grief is our grief. We cry with you, but as she said, “I believe strongly in an afterlife. I am literally, perfectly content.” May that be our testimony when the final curtain closes on our final act on this orb.

G. D. Williams       © 2011

Listed below are several news sources about this remarkable woman.


Geraldine Ferraro, who in 1984 became the first woman vice presidential candidate on a major U.S. party ticket, died Saturday in Boston, a family spokeswoman said.

Ferraro died at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she was being treated for blood cancer. She died just before 10 a.m. EST, said Amanda Fuchs Miller, a family friend who worked for Ferraro in her 1998 Senate bid and was acting as a spokeswoman for the family.

A three-term congresswoman from the New York City borough of Queens, Ferraro catapulted to national prominence in 1984 when she was chosen by presidential nominee Walter Mondale to join his ticket against incumbents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.


July 20, 1984

“If we can do this, we can do anything,” Ms. Ferraro declared on a July evening to a cheering Democratic National Convention in San Francisco. And for a moment, for the Democratic Party and for an untold number of American women, anything seemed possible: a woman occupying the second-highest office in the land, a derailing of the Republican juggernaut led by President Ronald Reagan, a President Walter F. Mondale.

It did not turn out that way — not by a long shot. After the roars in the Moscone Center had subsided and a fitful general election campaign had run its course, hopes for Mr. Mondale and his plain-speaking, barrier-breaking running mate were buried in a Reagan landslide.

But Ms. Ferraro’s supporters proclaimed a victory of sorts nonetheless: 64 years after women won the right to vote, a woman had removed the “men only” sign from the White House door.


“My name is Geraldine Ferraro,” she declared. “I stand before you to proclaim tonight: America is the land where dreams can come true for all of us.”

Her acceptance speech launched eight minutes of cheers, foot-stamping and tears.

Ferraro, a mother of three who campaigned wearing pastel-hued dresses and pumps, sometimes overshadowed Mondale on the campaign trail, often drawing larger crowds and more media attention than the presidential candidate.

But controversy accompanied her acclaim.

A Roman Catholic, she encountered frequent, vociferous protests of her favorable view of abortion rights.


Ferraro received a law degree from Fordham University in 1960, the same year she married and became a full-time homemaker and mother. She said she kept her maiden name to honor her mother, a widow who had worked long hours as a seamstress.

After years in a private law practice, she took a job as an assistant Queens district attorney in 1974. She headed the office’s special victims’ bureau, which prosecuted sex crimes and the abuse of children and the elderly. In 1978, she won the first of three terms in Congress representing a blue-collar district of Queens.

After losing in 1984, she became a fellow of the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University until an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate nomination in 1992.


Ferraro was a telegenic, articulate and fiery three-term New York congresswoman when Walter Mondale picked her to be his running mate from the male-dominated U.S. House of Representatives.

Her presence on the Democratic ticket generated excitement on the campaign trail, particularly among females of all ages.



In an interview in 2007 on The Early Show, Geraldine Ferraro discussed battling multiple myeloma, which she passed away from Saturday after a 12 year battle. In the interview Ferraro also praised the strength and courage of Elizabeth Edwards, who also passed away from cancer last December.

Geraldine Ferraro Vice Presidential Acceptance Speech 1984

Former Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro addresses the 1998 class of Jamestown High School on June 26, 1998.