Geraldine Ferraro
American lawyer and politician
Geraldine Ferraro
Geraldine Anne Ferraro was an American attorney, a Democratic Party politician, and a member of the United States House of Representatives. She was the first female Vice Presidential candidate representing a major American political party. Ferraro grew up in New York City and became a teacher and lawyer.
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Here's Why Clinton Supporters Are Wearing White To The Polls
Huffington Post - 4 months
Hillary Clinton supporters looking to show their sartorial solidarity with their candidate on Tuesday have one obvious option: the pantsuit, Clinton’s preferred power uniform. Another option? Wear white. We voted this weekend! ❤️ #earlyvote #wearwhitetovote A photo posted by Abi Estrin Cunningham (@abiestrin) on Nov 6, 2016 at 7:56pm PST On Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, a grassroots campaign is calling for Clinton supporters to #WearWhite or #WearWhiteToVote, a nod to the suffragist movement ― and one that the candidate herself appears to have embraced throughout the campaign. According to The New York Times, the white pantsuit that Clinton wore to accept the Democratic nomination “quietly but clearly” referenced the women’s movement, as white, purple and gold were the official colors of the National Woman’s Party, and many suffragists wore white while fighting for the right to vote. She wore white again during the final presidential debate ...
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Fear and Loathing in St. Louis
Huffington Post - 5 months
The second debate is over, but I think people are still surprised that it took place at all. As Republicans ran for cover following the release of the recordings with Donald Trump's comments about women, predictions were flying around St. Louis that the debate might be cancelled, that Trump might withdraw from the debate, or that the Republican Party might delay everything until it figured out what to do next. None of this occurred, of course, but it left a palpable sense of anxiety beforehand and tremendous expectations when the two candidates arrived in the debate hall. For all the unpredicted circumstances surrounding the debate, the debate itself sustained much of the focus and much of the tone established in the first debate on September 26. The shift from podium format to town hall did little to change these dynamics. Once again, Donald Trump was loud and passionate while Hillary Clinton was restrained and focused. Unlike the first debate, Clinton was unable to control the d ...
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Huffington Post article
The Religious Backgrounds of Mike Pence and Tim Kaine and the 2016 Presidential Election
Huffington Post - 5 months
The vice presidential candidates in 2016 for the two major parties are, in terms of their religious backgrounds, an interesting mix of similarities and differences. Mike Pence and Tim Kaine are both native sons of the Middle West, born in the late 1950's into Irish Catholic Democratic families. Both men were very young when the Catholic Church implemented its Vatican II reforms in November 1964, which means that probably neither of them can remember what American Catholicism was like before then. Studies of older American Catholics in the 1960's revealed that they viewed the most revolutionary change associated with Vatican II as not the switch from Latin to English during religious services, as important as that was, but rather that the priest now turned around, faced the congregation, and spoke to it directly. Their post-Vatican II upbringing means that Mike Pence and Tim Kaine are part of a distinctive cohort of American Catholics who experienced a kind of religious service muc ...
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Painting Trump As Temperamental, Clinton Attempts To Flip The Gender Script
NPR - 7 months
There is an old stereotype about women in politics, one that was articulated by a man named Mark Rudolph back in 2008 on the Fox News Channel in an interview with Bill O'Reilly."You get a woman in the oval office, the most powerful person in the world, what's the downside?" O'Reilly asked.Rudolph's answer: "You mean beside the PMS and the mood swings, right?"Moments later he said he was joking. But for women in politics, questions or jokes about temperament are familiar.Take Geraldine Ferraro, the 1984 Democratic vice presidential nominee and the first woman on a major party ticket."I'm capable of leveling with the American public. I am capable of dealing, again, the hard things I'm willing to do," Ferraro said in a documentary about her run. "I don't know if I were not a woman, if I would be judged in the same way in my candidacy, whether or not I would be asked questions like 'Are you strong enough to push the button?'"In September 1987, Democratic Congresswoman Pat Schroeder ended
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NPR article
AARP's Kevin Donnellan Exclusive Ideagen Global Thought Leader Interview (Part II) with Ideagen's George Sifakis
Huffington Post - 7 months
AARP's Kevin Donnellan Exclusive Ideagen Global Thought Leader Interview (Part II) with Ideagen's George Sifakis Kevin: I worked on Capitol Hill before coming to AARP. When I worked on the Hill, I spent a lot of time focusing on aging issues. Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro's congressional district had one of the oldest aging populations in the country. We spent a lot of time working on aging issues. That's where I got into aging issues. When I decided to leave the Hill, I was attracted to AARP because of their mission. I have to say, when I got here I thought, I'll do this for a couple of years and then I'll try something else. Here I am now, 30 years later, still at AARP. The main reason I'm here ... Well, there are actually two. One is, again, the mission of the organization. It's a fantastic mission. As I said earlier, I love what I do and I think that's important. I think you have to believe in what you do and want to get up and go to work every day and feel like ...
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Letter: Geraldine Ferraro’s Daughter, on Her Mother and Hillary Clinton
NYTimes - 9 months
A daughter of Geraldine Ferraro, the 1984 Democratic vice-presidential candidate, sees a trait shared by her mother and Hillary Clinton: grit.
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NYTimes article
Trump (Queens) vs. Bernie (Brooklyn): The New York Values Throwdown
Huffington Post - about 1 year
It's been 112 years since two New Yorkers ran against each other for president (Teddy Roosevelt won). There was the four-term colossus of FDR, of course, followed by crickets: Thomas E. Dewey was the (losing) Republican in 1948; Geraldine Ferraro was the Democrats' (losing) veep candidate in 1984.   But now -- and this is Yuge -- Gotham is back, and we are relishing (with lots of relish) the very real possibility that two New York hot dogs could be the finalists (and that a third, Michael Bloomberg, could run as an independent).   Bernie Sanders, lately of Vermont, was born in Brooklyn and has the hard-boiled accent, in-your-face style and socialist chops to prove it. Donald Trump is upper-end Queens, but still Queens, where ambitious WASPs yearn to make it big in Manhattan -- which The Donald did with a million bucks from Dad.    (Hillary Clinton is sort of a New Yorker, but Chappaqua, where her email server lives, is Westchester County, which is too suburban to ...
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60 Years in Journalism: Cherchez les Femmes
Huffington Post - over 1 year
There was a striking photograph in Politico a few days ago: the press corps covering Hillary Clinton's campaign. Eighteen reporters posed in the room in which they would watch the first Democratic candidates' debate; all 18 were women. One is covering the campaign for Bloomberg Politics, three of my former Bloomberg colleagues had decamped for other major news media. A fourth is now covering President Obama for a leading paper, and two current Bloomberg White House reporters are also women. One of them is a past president of the National Press Club, which first admitted women to membership in 1971. Before that, female reporters, if they were assigned to cover a speaker at the Press Club, had to listen from the balcony, where journalism students now sometimes sit. When Geraldine Ferraro, a member of Congress from New York City, was tapped by Walter Mondale as his vice-presidential running mate in 1984. I was assigned to cover the Ferraro campaign. I still remember the closing night ...
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Walter Mondale's Living Legacy
Huffington Post - over 1 year
After two leading academic institutions held celebrations of Walter F. Mondale's public service on October 20, 2015, most headlines summarizing the events highlighted Mondale's historic role in remaking the American vice presidency. I'm all for celebrating the importance of the modern vice presidency and Mondale's essential role in making that happen, a topic I've written about including in a book coming out this winter focused on that very point. But as historic and as beneficial as was Mondale's role in elevating the vice presidency, that accomplishment was an application of Mondale's leadership, beliefs and skill, and a vehicle for Mondale to advance some of his values, not the measure of the man or his "Living Legacy" as many headlines implied. Mondale's work in recreating the vice presidency was consistent with his belief that government can and must be a force for good and that public officials should work to improve the Framers' design not disrupt it. Whereas Ronald Rea ...
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Hillary Clinton and the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy
Huffington Post - almost 2 years
At her recent press conference at the United Nations, the first question posed to Hillary Clinton, asked by a Turkish reporter, had to do with whether she felt she was being treated differently because she was a woman. Many in the media scoffed at the question. But if one examines Clinton's 2008 presidential run, it's hard to dismiss some coverage as anything other than sexist. It started early, in July 2007, when Robin Givhan wrote an article in the Washington Post featuring, of all things, Clinton's cleavage. "She was wearing a rose-colored blazer over a black top," Givhan observed. "The neckline sat low on her chest and had a subtle V-neck. The cleavage registered after only a quick glance. No scrunch-faced scrutiny was necessary. There wasn't an unseemly amount of cleavage showing, but there it was. Undeniable." Unbelievable, some readers thought. That was just the beginning. Writing in his blog, Washington Post reporter Joel Achenbach offered this passage concerning another p ...
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First Nighter: Wendy Wasserstein's "Heidi Chronicles" in A+ Revival
Huffington Post - almost 2 years
With The Heidi Chronicles Wendy Wasserstein wrote her most popular -- and I'd argue -- her best play. My opinion certainly hasn't changed as of the current revival, at The Music Box, with Elisabeth Moss giving a performance of depth and breadth in the title role. If anything, I'd claim my regard for the 1989 Pulitzer Prize-winning (and almost every other award in sight) play is even more solid now. This isn't to say that every aspect of Pam MacKinnon's production is absolutely right, but before I get to that, what has to be stressed is that Wasserstein's survey of a representative upper-middle-class woman's experiences of American culture during the years 1964 to 1987 is as close to perfection as anyone could hope to get. When Heidi Holland, studying for a degree in art history, is first seen, she's at a college dance with best-friend-forever Susan Johnston (Ali Ahn) where she meets admirer Peter Patrone (Bryce Pinkham). When next seen, she's at a Eugene McCarthy for President f ...
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30 years ago tonight, Geraldine Ferraro made history! (By the way, I think she was one of our most fascinating colleagues here at Fox News Channel – she sure was genuine)
Fox News - over 2 years
The post 30 years ago tonight, Geraldine Ferraro made history! (By the way, I think she was one of our most fascinating colleagues here at Fox News Channel – she sure was genuine) appeared first on Gretawire.
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Thirty years ago tonight: Geraldine Ferraro makes history
LATimes - over 2 years
Thirty years ago tonight, all she had to say were five words and, just like that, thousands of delegates to the Democratic Party's 1984 convention nearly blew off the roof of San Francisco’s Moscone Center.
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Focus on Women Leaders: Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe and Athena Film Festival
Huffington Post - about 3 years
Forest Whitaker takes her calls. Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe so epitomizes the strength of simplicity, the Oscar winning star of Last King of Scotland-- he portrays the dictator Idi Amin-- form a likely alliance in helping young people in Africa recover from the horrors of vicious murderous rebels like Joseph Kony who, like Idi Amin, brutalized them. Whitaker founded a school for boys, to re-humanize them. Sister Rosemary founded a school to teach women to sew, specifically working pop tabs into fashionable bags. That trade allows them to survive with dignity for themselves and for the children many bore against their will. St. Monica's also serves as a safe haven and hospital for the women. Last week, Sister Rosemary met a group of journalists. She was carrying one of the bags woven of the silver aluminum tabs. Everyone at the table at Milano wanted one, but we all settled for an autographed copy of the book about her life and work, Sewing Hope, and chatted with Derek Watson, the director ...
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'I Look Back And I Think, It Did Make A Difference'
Huffington Post - over 3 years
On this day in 1984, Geraldine Ferraro made history when she became the first woman to be nominated to a major party's vice-presidential ticket post. Ferraro accepted the opportunity to run alongside Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale, who in November 1984 lost his bid to incumbent Republican Ronald Reagan. In an interview with AOL-PBS Makers filmed before her death in March 2011, Ferraro reflected back on the experience, "I look back and I think, it did make a difference," Ferraro said. "We pulled down the sign from the door of the White House that says "'male only.'" Watch the full Makers clip above.
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James Zogby: Reframe the Immigration Debate as an American Story
Huffington Post - over 3 years
In October of 1984, I attended the annual dinner of the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) and heard campaign speeches delivered by then President Ronald Reagan and former Vice-President Walter Mondale. Mondale spoke first. His speech was a litany of promises on a string of issues and mostly fell flat. In fact, Mondale's only applause lines came when he mentioned the name of his running mate, Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro, an Italian American, much beloved by her ethnic community. When it was Reagan's turn, he walked to the podium and, after a moment of silence, he began. As I recall the gist of his remarks, they went something like this: My grandmother, like yours, came to this country with nothing but her hopes and dreams. She worked hard driven by the conviction that if she did, in America, her dreams could become a reality. I stand here the beneficiary of her hard work and the fulfillment of her dreams. At that point, there wasn't a dry eye in the ...
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Karen Hinton: Words Matter: Mario Cuomo's 1984 Tale of Two Cities Relevant to Today's Politics of Disappointment
Huffington Post - over 3 years
At the recent unveiling of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo's portrait in the Governors Hall at the State Capitol, I recalled the first time I heard him speak. The elder Cuomo, after two decades of resisting, finally gave into his family's urging to follow tradition and allow the hanging of his portrait, painted last year from a photo of a younger Mario Cuomo circa mid-1980s. It was that rendering of him that took me back to a time and place very different from the summer of 2013, Albany, New York. Almost 30 years ago, on a 30-inch Zenith TV with rabbit ear antenna situated close to the screen front door of Lusco's Restaurant in Greenwood, Mississippi, was the face of Mario Cuomo, speaking to the 1984 Democratic Convention in San Francisco. The owners of the restaurant, Charlie and Marie Lusco, had immigrated to the Mississippi Delta from Cefalu in Sicily. Unlike Cuomo's parents, the Luscos entered the country through New Orleans not Ellis Island. After living ...
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Geraldine Ferraro
  • 2011
    Age 75
    Unable to return to her New York home, Ferraro died at Massachusetts General on, 2011.
    More Details Hide Details In addition to her husband and three children, who were all present, she was survived by eight grandchildren. President Obama said upon her death that "Geraldine will forever be remembered as a trailblazer who broke down barriers for women, and Americans of all backgrounds and walks of life," and said that his own two daughters would grow up in a more equal country because of what Ferraro had done. Mondale called her "a remarkable woman and a dear human being... She was a pioneer in our country for justice for women and a more open society. She broke a lot of molds and it's a better country for what she did." George H. W. Bush said, "Though we were one-time political opponents, I am happy to say Gerry and I became friends in time – a friendship marked by respect and affection. I admired Gerry in many ways, not the least of which was the dignified and principled manner she blazed new trails for women in politics." Palin paid tribute to her on Facebook, expressing gratitude for having been able to work with her the year before and saying, "She broke one huge barrier and then went on to break many more. May her example of hard work and dedication to America continue to inspire all women." Bill and Hillary Clinton said in a statement that, "Gerry Ferraro was one of a kind – tough, brilliant, and never afraid to speak her mind or stand up for what she believed in – a New York icon and a true American original."
  • 2010
    Age 74
    She was able to make a joint appearance with Palin on Fox News Channel's coverage of the November 2010 midterm elections.
    More Details Hide Details In she went to Massachusetts General Hospital to receive treatment for pain caused by a fracture, a common complication of multiple myeloma. Once there, however, doctors discovered she had come down with pneumonia.
    Ferraro made a joint appearance with Palin on Fox News during the network's election-night coverage of the 2010 midterms.
    More Details Hide Details Ferraro continued to battle her cancer, making repeated visits to hospitals during her last year and undergoing difficult procedures. Much of her care took place at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, where she also acted as an informal advocate for other patients.
  • 2009
    Age 73
    In 2009, legislation passed the House of Representatives calling for a post office in Long Island City in Queens to be renamed for Ferraro, and in 2010, the Geraldine A Ferraro Post Office was accordingly rededicated.
    More Details Hide Details In the fall of 2013, P.S. 290 in Maspeth in Queens was renamed the Geraldine A. Ferraro Campus. Democratic primary for New York's 9th congressional district, 1978 New York's 9th congressional district, 1978 New York's 9th congressional district, 1980 New York's 9th congressional district, 1982
  • 2008
    Age 72
    During September 2008, Ferraro gained attention yet again after the announcement of Sarah Palin as the Republican vice-presidential nominee, the first such major party bid for a woman since her own in 1984.
    More Details Hide Details Palin mentioned Ferraro as well as Clinton as forerunners in her introductory appearance. In reaction to the nomination, Ferraro said, "It's great to be the first, but I don't want to be the only. And so now it is wonderful to see a woman on a national ticket." Ferraro speculated that the pick might win Republican presidential nominee John McCain the election, but said that she was supporting Obama now due to his running mate selection of Joe Biden having resolved her concerns about Obama's lack of experience in certain areas. Ferraro criticized the media's scrutiny of Palin's background and family as gender-based and saw parallels with how she was treated by the media during her own run; a University of Alabama study also found that media framing of Ferraro and Palin was similar and often revolved around their nominations being political gambles. A Newsweek cover story detected a change in how women voters responded to a female vice presidential candidate from Ferraro's time to Palin's, but Ferraro correctly predicted that the bounce that McCain received from the Palin pick would dissipate. In a friendly joint retrospective of her 1984 debate with George H. W. Bush, Ferraro said she had had more national issues experience in 1984 than Palin did now, but that it was important that Palin make a good showing in her vice presidential debate so that "little girls could see someone there who can stand toe to toe with Biden."
    How's that?" Ferraro resigned from Clinton's finance committee on, 2008, two days after the firestorm began, saying that she didn't want the Obama camp to use her comments to hurt Clinton's campaign.
    More Details Hide Details Ferraro continued to engage the issue and criticize the Obama campaign via her position as a Fox News Channel contributor. By early April, Ferraro said people were deluging her with negative comments and trying to get her removed from one of the boards she was on: "This has been the worst three weeks of my life." Ferraro stated in mid- that Clinton had "raised this whole woman candidate thing to a whole different level than when I ran". She thought Obama had behaved in a sexist manner and that she might not vote for him.
    In March 2008 she gave an interview with the Daily Breeze in which she said: "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position.
    More Details Hide Details And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept." Ferraro justified the statements by referring to her own run for vice president. Echoing a statement she wrote about herself in 1988, Ferraro said that "I was talking about historic candidacies and what I started off by saying (was that) if you go back to 1984 and look at my historic candidacy, which I had just talked about all these things, in 1984, if my name was Gerard Ferraro instead of Geraldine Ferraro, I would have never been chosen as a vice-presidential candidate. It had nothing to do with my qualification." Her comments resonated with some older white women, but generated an immediate backlash elsewhere. There was strong criticism and charges of racism from many supporters of Obama and Obama called them "patently absurd". Clinton publicly expressed disagreement with Ferraro's remarks, while Ferraro vehemently denied she was a racist. Again speaking to the Breeze, Ferraro responded to the attacks by saying: "I really think they're attacking me because I'm white.
    She assisted with fundraising by assuming an honorary post on the finance committee for Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign.
    More Details Hide Details A heated nomination battle emerged between Clinton and Barack Obama, in which racial dust-ups caused by perceptions of remarks made by campaign surrogates took place. Ferraro became livid when her daughter voted for Obama in a primary, which reflected a generational difference among American women in how they viewed the significance of a woman being elected president.
    Ferraro is one of only three U.S. women to run on a major party national ticket. The others are Alaska governor Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee, whose ticket also lost, and Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee.
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    She also continued her career as a journalist, author, and businesswoman, and served in the 2008 presidential campaign of Senator Hillary Clinton.
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  • 2006
    Age 70
    In December 2006, Ferraro announced her support for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
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  • 2004
    Age 68
    Later, she vowed to help defend Clinton from being "swiftboated" in a manner akin to 2004 presidential candidate John Kerry.
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    She republished Ferraro: My Story in 2004, with a postscript summarizing her life in the twenty years since the campaign.
    More Details Hide Details Ferraro was a member of the board of directors of Goodrich Petroleum beginning in. She was also a board member for New York Bancorp in the 1990s. Ferraro became a principal in the government relations practice of the Blank Rome law firm in, working both in New York and Washington about two days a week in their lobbying and communications activities. As she passed the age of 70, she was thankful for still being alive, and said "This is about as retired as I get, which is part time," and that if she fully retired, she would "go nuts".
  • 2002
    Age 66
    After living for many years in Forest Hills Gardens, Queens, she and her husband moved to Manhattan in 2002.
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  • 2000
    Age 64
    In January 2000, Ferraro and Lynn Martin—a former Republican Congresswoman and U.S. Secretary of Labor who had played Ferraro in George H. W. Bush's debate preparations in 1984—co-founded, and served as co-presidents of, G&L Strategies, a management consulting firm underneath Weber McGinn.
    More Details Hide Details Its goal was to advise corporations on how to develop more women leaders and make their workplaces more amenable to female employees. G&L Strategies subsequently became part of Golin Harris International. In, Ferraro was made executive vice president and managing director of the public affairs practice of the Global Consulting Group, an international investor relations and corporate communications component of Huntsworth. There she worked with corporations, non-profit organizations, state governments and political figures. She continued there as a senior advisor working about two days a month.
    She partnered with Laura Ingraham, starting in, in writing the alternate-weeks column "Campaign Countdown" on the 2000 presidential election for The New York Times Syndicate.
    More Details Hide Details During the 2000s, Ferraro was an affiliated faculty member at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute.
  • 1999
    Age 63
    In 1999, she joined the board of the Bertarelli Foundation, and in 2003, the board of the National Women's Health Resource Center.
    More Details Hide Details During the 2000s she was on the board of advisors to the Committee to Free Lori Berenson. Framing a Life: A Family Memoir was published by Ferraro in. It depicts the life story of her mother and immigrant grandmother; it also portrays the rest of her family, and is a memoir of her early life, but includes relatively little about her political career. Ferraro had felt unusually tired at the end of her second senate campaign. In, she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer where plasma cells secrete abnormal antibodies known as Bence-Jones proteins, which can cause bones to disintegrate and dump toxic amounts of calcium into the bloodstream. She did not publicly disclose the illness until, when she went to Washington to successfully press in Congressional hearings for passage of the Hematological Cancer Research Investment and Education Act. A portion of the Act created the Geraldine Ferraro Cancer Education Program, which directs the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish an education program for patients of blood cancers and the general public. Ferraro became a frequent speaker on the disease, and an avid supporter and honorary board member of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.
  • 1998
    Age 62
    The 1998 primary defeat brought an end to Ferraro's political career.
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    In the, 1998 primary, she was beaten soundly by Schumer by a 51 percent to 26 percent margin.
    More Details Hide Details Unlike 1992, the contest was not divisive, and Ferraro and third-place finisher Green endorsed Schumer at a unity breakfast the following day. Schumer would go on to decisively unseat D'Amato in the general election.
    At the start of 1998, Ferraro left Crossfire and ran for the Democratic nomination again in the 1998 United States Senate election in New York.
    More Details Hide Details The other candidates were Congressman Charles Schumer and New York City Public Advocate Mark J. Green. She had done no fundraising, out of fear of conflict of interest with her Crossfire job, but was nonetheless immediately perceived as the front-runner. Indeed, December and January polls had her 25 percentage points ahead of Green in the race and even further ahead of Schumer. Unlike the previous campaigns, her family finances never became an issue. However, she lost ground during the summer, with Schumer catching up in the polls by early August and then soon passing her. Schumer, a tireless fundraiser, outspent her by a five-to-one margin, and Ferraro failed to establish a political image current with the times.
  • 1996
    Age 60
    In February 1996, Ferraro joined the high-visibility CNN political talk show Crossfire, as the co-host representing the "from the left" vantage.
    More Details Hide Details She kept her brassy, rapid-fire speech and New York accent intact, and her trial experience from her prosecutor days was a good fit for the program's format. She sparred effectively with "from the right" co-host Pat Buchanan, for whom she developed a personal liking. The show stayed strong in ratings for CNN, and the job was lucrative. She welcomed how the role "keeps me visible and keeps me extremely well informed on the issues."
    Ferraro held the U.N. position into 1996.
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  • 1993
    Age 57
    Ferraro's second book, a collection of her speeches, was titled Changing History: Women, Power and Politics and was published in 1993.
    More Details Hide Details President Clinton appointed Ferraro as a member of the United States delegation to United Nations Commission on Human Rights in. She attended the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna as the alternate U.S. delegate. Then in, Clinton promoted her to be United States Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, saying that Ferraro had been "a highly effective voice for the human rights of women around the world." The Clinton administration named Ferraro vice-chair of the U.S. delegation to the landmark Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing; in this role she picked a strong team of experts in human rights issues to serve with her. During her stint on the commission, it for the first time condemned anti-Semitism as a human rights violation, and also for the first time prevented China from blocking a motion criticizing its human rights record. Regarding a previous China motion that had failed, Ferraro had told the commission, "Let us do what we were sent here to do—decide important questions of human rights on their merits, not avoid them."
    She served as a United States Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights from 1993 until 1996 during the presidential administration of Bill Clinton.
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  • 1992
    Age 56
    The Ferraro-Holtzman fighting of the campaign was viewed as a disaster by many feminists, but overall the 1992 U.S. Senate elections saw so many victories that it became known as the "Year of the Woman".
    More Details Hide Details Following the primary loss, Ferraro became a managing partner in the New York office of Keck, Mahin & Cate, a Chicago-based law firm. There she organized the office and spoke with clients, but did not actively practice law and left before the firm fell into difficulties.
    This tactic comes from the poisoned well of fear and stereotype " On the, 1992, primary, Abrams edged out Ferraro by less than a percentage point, winning 37 percent of the vote to 36 percent, with Sharpton and Holtzman well behind.
    More Details Hide Details Ferraro did not concede she had lost for two weeks. Abrams spent much of the remainder of the campaign trying to get Ferraro's endorsement. Ferraro, enraged and bitter after the nature of the primary, ignored Abrams and accepted Bill Clinton's request to campaign for his presidential bid instead. She was eventually persuaded by state party leaders into giving an unenthusiastic endorsement with just three days to go before the general election, in exchange for an apology by Abrams for the tone of the primary. D'Amato won the election by a very narrow margin.
  • 1991
    Age 55
    By October 1991, Ferraro was ready to enter elective politics again, and ran for the Democratic nomination in the 1992 United States Senate election in New York.
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  • 1989
    Age 53
    She became president of the newly established International Institute for Women's Political Leadership in 1989.
    More Details Hide Details In 1992, she was on the founding board of Project Vote Smart. By 1993, she was serving on the Fordham Law School Board of Visitors, as well as on the boards of the National Breast Cancer Research Fund, the New York Easter Seal Society, and the Pension Rights Center, and was one of hundreds of public figures on the Planned Parenthood Federation of America's Board of Advocates.
  • 1988
    Age 52
    Ferraro was a fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics from 1988 to 1992, teaching in-demand seminars such as "So You Want to be President?" She also took care of her mother, who suffered from emphysema for several years before her death in early 1990.
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    Ferraro remained active in raising money for Democratic candidates nationwide, especially women candidates. During the 1988 presidential election, Ferraro served as vice chair of the party's Victory Fund.
    More Details Hide Details She also did some commentating for television.
  • 1986
    Age 50
    Many expected her to run in the 1986 United States Senate election in New York against first-term Republican incumbent Al D'Amato, and during 1985 she did Upstate New York groundwork towards that end.
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    She founded the Americans Concerned for Tomorrow political action committee, which focused on getting ten women candidates elected in the 1986 Congressional elections (eight of whom would be successful).
    More Details Hide Details Despite the one-sided national loss in 1984, Ferraro was still viewed as someone with a bright political future.
  • 1985
    Age 49
    Ferraro had relinquished her House seat to run for the vice-presidency. Her new-found fame led to an appearance in a Diet Pepsi commercial in 1985.
    More Details Hide Details She published Ferraro: My Story, an account of the campaign with some of her life leading up to it, in. It was a best seller and earned her $1 million. She also earned over $300,000 by giving speeches.
  • 1984
    Age 48
    1984 Democratic National Convention (Vice-Presidential tally) United States presidential election, 1984
    More Details Hide Details Democratic primary for the United States Senate, 1992 Democratic primary for the United States Senate, 1998
    Ferraro said there had been efforts to oust the man, Robert DiBernardo, after reports of the tenancy originated during her 1984 vice-presidential campaign, but he had remained in the building for three more years.
    More Details Hide Details In addition, a report by an investigator for the New York State Organized Crime Task Force found its way to the media via a tip from a Holtzman aide; it said that Zaccaro had been seen meeting with the DiBernardo in 1985. Ferraro said in response that those two had never met. The final debates were nasty, and Holtzman in particular constantly attacked Ferraro's integrity and finances. In an unusual election-eve television broadcast, Ferraro talked about "the ethnic slur that I am somehow or other connected to organized crime. There's lots of innuendo but no proof. However, it is made plausible because of the fact that I am an Italian-American.
    Ferraro became the front-runner, capitalizing on her star power from 1984, and using the campaign attacks against her as an explicitly feminist rallying point for women voters.
    More Details Hide Details As the primary date neared, her lead began to dwindle under the charges, and she released additional tax returns from the 1980s to try to defray the attacks. Holtzman ran a negative ad accusing Ferraro and Zaccaro of taking more than $300,000 in rent in the 1980s from a pornographer with ties to organized crime.
    To defend Ferraro, the pro-choice group Catholics for a Free Choice placed an October 7, 1984, full-page ad in The New York Times titled "A Catholic Statement on Pluralism and Abortion".
    More Details Hide Details Ferraro drew large crowds on the campaign trail, many of whom wished to see the history-making candidate in person, who often chanted, "Ger-ry! Ger-ry!" Mondale and Ferraro rarely touched during their appearances together, to the point that he would not even place his palm on her back when they stood side-by-side; Ferraro later said this was because anything more and "people were afraid that it would look like, 'Oh, my God, they're dating.'". There was one vice-presidential debate between Congresswoman Ferraro and Vice President George H. W. Bush. Held on, the result was proclaimed mostly even by the press and historians; women voters tended to think Ferraro had won, while men, Bush. At it, Ferraro criticized Reagan's initial refusal to support an extension to the Voting Rights Act. Her experience was questioned at the debate and she was asked how her three terms in Congress stacked up with Bush's extensive government experience. To one Bush statement she said, "Let me just say first of all, that I almost resent, Vice President Bush, your patronizing attitude that you have to teach me about foreign policy." She strongly defended her position on abortion, which earned her applause and a respectful reply from her opponent. In the days leading up to the debate, Second Lady of the United States Barbara Bush had publicly referred to Ferraro as "that four-million-dollar—I can't say it, but it rhymes with 'rich'."
    Ferraro's strong performance at an press conference covering the final disclosure—where she answered all questions for two hours—effectively ended the issue for the remainder of the campaign, but significant damage had been done. No campaign issue during the entire 1984 presidential campaign received more media attention than Ferraro's finances.
    More Details Hide Details The exposure diminished Ferraro's rising stardom, removed whatever momentum the Mondale–Ferraro ticket gained out of the convention, and delayed formation of a coherent message for the fall campaign. Sharp criticism from Catholic Church authorities put Ferraro on the defensive during the entire campaign, with abortion opponents frequently protesting her appearances with a level of fervor not usually encountered by pro-choice Catholic male candidates such as Mario Cuomo and Ted Kennedy. In a 1982 briefing for Congress, Ferraro had written that "the Catholic position on abortion is not monolithic and there can be a range of personal and political responses to the issue." Ferraro was criticized by Cardinal John O'Connor, the Catholic Archbishop of New York, and James Timlin, the Bishop of Scranton, for misrepresenting the Catholic Church's position on abortion. After several days of back-and-forth debate in the public media, Ferraro finally conceded that, "the Catholic Church's position on abortion is monolithic" but went on to say that "But I do believe that there are a lot of Catholics who do not share the view of the Catholic Church". Ferraro was also criticized for saying that Reagan was not a "good Christian" because, she said, his policies hurt the poor.
    As Ferraro was the first woman to run on a major party national ticket in the United States, and the first Italian American, her nomination at the 1984 Democratic National Convention was one of the most emotional moments of that gathering, with female delegates appearing joyous and proud at the historic occasion.
    More Details Hide Details In her acceptance speech, Ferraro said, "The daughter of an immigrant from Italy has been chosen to run for vice president in the new land my father came to love." Convention attendees were in tears during the speech, not just for its significance for women but for all those who had immigrated to America. The speech was listed as number 56 in American Rhetoric's Top 100 Speeches of the 20th Century. Ferraro gained immediate, large-scale media attention. At first, journalists focused on her novelty as a woman and her poor family background, and their coverage was overwhelmingly favorable. Nevertheless, Ferraro faced many press questions about her foreign policy inexperience, and responded by discussing her attention to foreign and national security issues in Congress. She faced a threshold of proving competence that other high-level female political figures have had to face, especially those who might become commander-in-chief; the question "Are you tough enough?" was often directed to her. Ted Koppel questioned her closely about nuclear strategy and during Meet the Press she was asked, "Do you think that in any way the Soviets might be tempted to try to take advantage of you simply because you are a woman?"
    Mondale selected Ferraro to be his Vice-Presidential candidate on, 1984.
    More Details Hide Details She stated, "I am absolutely thrilled." The Mondale campaign hoped that her selection would change a campaign in which he was well behind; in addition to attracting women, they hoped she could attract ethnic Democrats in the Northeast U.S. who had abandoned their party for Reagan in 1980. Her personality, variously described as blunt, feisty, spirited, and somewhat saucy, was also viewed as an asset. In turn, Mondale accepted the risk that came with her inexperience.
    As the 1984 U.S. presidential election primary season neared its end and Walter Mondale became the likely Democratic nominee, the idea of picking a woman as his vice-presidential running mate gained considerable momentum.
    More Details Hide Details The National Organization for Women and the National Women's Political Caucus pushed the notion, as did several top Democratic figures such as Speaker Tip O'Neill. Women mentioned for the role included Ferraro and Mayor of San Francisco Dianne Feinstein, both of whom were on Mondale's five-person short list.
    Ferraro took a congressional trip to Nicaragua at the start of 1984, where she spoke to the Contras.
    More Details Hide Details She decided that the Reagan Administration's military interventions there and in El Salvador were counterproductive towards reaching U.S. security goals, and that regional negotiations would be better.
    In 1984, she championed a pension equity law revision that would improve the benefits of people who left work for long periods and then returned, a typical case for women with families.
    More Details Hide Details The Reagan administration, at first lukewarm to the measure, decided to sign it to gain the benefits of its popular appeal. Ferraro also worked on some environmental issues. During 1980, she tried to prevent the federal government from gaining the power to override local laws on hazardous materials transportation, an effort she continued in subsequent years. In, she led passage of a Superfund renewal bill and attacked the Reagan administration's handling of environmental site cleanups.
    She was the Chairwoman of the Platform Committee for the 1984 Democratic National Convention, the first woman to hold that position.
    More Details Hide Details There she held multiple hearings around the country and further gained in visibility. While in Congress, Ferraro focused much of her legislative attention on equity for women in the areas of wages, pensions, and retirement plans. She was a cosponsor of the 1981 Economic Equity Act. On the House Select Committee on Aging, she concentrated on the problems of elderly women.
    In 1984, former vice president and presidential candidate Walter Mondale, seen as an underdog, selected Ferraro to be his running mate in the upcoming election.
    More Details Hide Details Ferraro became the only Italian American to be a major-party national nominee in addition to being the first woman. The positive polling the Mondale-Ferraro ticket received when she joined soon faded, as damaging questions arose about her and her businessman husband's finances and wealth and her Congressional disclosure statements. In the general election, Mondale and Ferraro were defeated in a landslide by incumbent President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George H. W. Bush. Ferraro ran campaigns for a seat in the United States Senate from New York in 1992 and 1998, both times starting as the front-runner for her party's nomination before losing in the primary election.
    In 1984, she was the first female vice presidential candidate representing a major American political party.
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  • 1983
    Age 47
    By 1983, she was regarded as one of the up-and-coming stars of the party.
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  • 1982
    Age 46
    Following the election, she served actively on the Hunt Commission that in 1982, rewrote the Democratic delegate selection rules; Ferraro was credited as having been the prime agent behind the creation of superdelegates.
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  • 1981
    Age 45
    Then in, he was indicted on unrelated felony charges regarding an alleged 1981 bribery of Queens Borough President Donald Manes concerning a cable television contract.
    More Details Hide Details A full year later, he was acquitted at trial. The case against him was circumstantial, a key prosecution witness proved unreliable, and the defense did not have to present its own testimony. Ferraro said her husband never would have been charged had she not run for vice president. Meanwhile, in, the couple's son John had been arrested for possession and sale of cocaine. He was convicted, and in, sentenced to four months imprisonment; Ferraro broke down in tears in court relating the stress the episode had placed on her family. Ferraro worked on an unpublished book about the conflicting rights between a free press and being able to have fair trials. Asked in, whether she would have accepted the vice-presidential nomination had she known of all the family problems that would follow, she said, "More than once I have sat down and said to myself, oh, God, I wish I had never gone through with it... I think the candidacy opened a door for women in national politics, and I don't regret that for one minute. I'm proud of that. But I just wish it could have been done in a different way."
    She was elected to be the Secretary of the House Democratic Caucus for 1981–1983 and again for 1983–1985; this entitled her to a seat on the influential Steering and Policy Committee.
    More Details Hide Details In 1983, she was named to the powerful House Budget Committee. She also served on the Public Works and Transportation Committee and the Post Office and Civil Service Committee, both of which allowed Ferraro to push through projects to benefit her district. In particular, she assisted the successful effort of the Ridgewood and Glendale neighborhoods to get their ZIP codes changed from Brooklyn to their native Queens. Male colleagues viewed her with respect as someone who was tough and ambitious and in turn she was, as The New York Times later wrote, "comfortable with the boys".
  • 1980
    Age 44
    In all, Ferraro served three two-year terms, being re-elected in 1980 and 1982.
    More Details Hide Details Her vote shares increased to 58 percent and then 73 percent and much of her funding came from political action committees. While Ferraro's pro-choice views conflicted with those of many of her constituents as well as the Catholic Church to which she belonged, her positions on other social and foreign policy issues were in alignment with the district. She broke with her party in favoring an anti-busing amendment to the Constitution. She supported deployment of the Pershing II missile and the Trident submarine, although she opposed funding for the MX missile, the B-1B bomber, and the Strategic Defense Initiative. While in the House, Ferraro's political self-description evolved to "moderate". In 1982, she said her experiences as assistant district attorney had changed some of her views: "... because no matter how concerned I am about spending, I have seen first hand what poverty can do to people's lives and I just can't, in good conscience, not do something about it." For her six years in Congress, Ferraro had an average 78 percent "Liberal Quotient" from Americans for Democratic Action and an average 8 percent rating from the American Conservative Union. The AFL-CIO's Committee on Political Education gave her an average approval rating of 91 percent.
    Ferraro was active in Democratic presidential politics as well. She served as one of the deputy chairs for the 1980 Carter-Mondale campaign.
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  • 1978
    Age 42
    Ferraro ran for election to the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 9th Congressional District in Queens in 1978, after longtime Democratic incumbent James Delaney announced his retirement.
    More Details Hide Details The location for the television series All in the Family, the district, which stretched from Astoria to Ozone Park was known for its ethnic composition and conservative views. In a three-candidate primary race for the Democratic nomination, Ferraro faced two better-known rivals, the party organization candidate, City Councilman Thomas J. Manton and Patrick Deignan. Her main issues were law and order, support for the elderly, and neighborhood preservation. She labeled herself a "'small c' conservative" and emphasized that she was not a bleeding-heart liberal; her campaign slogan was "Finally, A Tough Democrat". Her Italian heritage also appealed to ethnic residents in the district. She won the three-way primary with 53 percent of the vote, and then captured the general election as well, defeating Republican Alfred A. DelliBovi by a 10-percentage-point margin in a contest in which dealing with crime was the major issue and personal attacks by DelliBovi were frequent. She had been aided by $130,000 in campaign loans and donations from her own family, including $110,000 in loans from Zaccaro, of which only $4,000 was legal. The source and nature of these transactions were declared illegal by the Federal Election Commission shortly before the primary, causing Ferraro to pay back the loans in, via several real estate transactions. In 1979, the campaign and Zaccaro paid $750 in fines for civil violations of election law.
    She was admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court Bar in 1978.
    More Details Hide Details As part of the D.A. office, Ferraro worked long hours, and gained a reputation for being a tough prosecutor but fair in plea negotiations. Although her unit was supposed to turn over cases which were bound for trial to another division, she took an active role in trying some cases herself, and juries were persuaded by her summations. Ferraro was upset to discover that her superior was paying her less than equivalent male colleagues because she was a married woman and already had a husband. Moreover, Ferraro found the nature of the cases she dealt with debilitating; the work left her "drained and angry" and she developed an ulcer. She grew frustrated that she was unable to deal with root causes, and talked about running for legislative office; Cuomo, now Secretary of State of New York, suggested the United States Congress.
    In 1978 she was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where she rose rapidly in the party hierarchy while focusing on legislation to bring equity for women in the areas of wages, pensions, and retirement plans.
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  • 1977
    Age 41
    She was named head of the unit in 1977, with two other assistant district attorneys assigned to her.
    More Details Hide Details In this role, she became a strong advocate for abused children.
  • 1974
    Age 38
    Ferraro grew up in New York City and worked as a public school teacher before training as a lawyer. She joined the Queens County District Attorney's Office in 1974, heading the new Special Victims Bureau that dealt with sex crimes, child abuse, and domestic violence.
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  • 1970
    Age 34
    In 1970, she was elected president of the Queens County Women's Bar Association.
    More Details Hide Details Ferraro's first full-time political job came in, when she was appointed Assistant District Attorney for Queens County, New York, by her cousin, District Attorney Nicholas Ferraro. At the time, women prosecutors in the city were uncommon. Grumblings that she was the beneficiary of nepotism were countered by her being rated as qualified by a screening committee and by her early job performance in the Investigations Bureau. The following year, Ferraro was assigned to the new Special Victims Bureau, which prosecuted cases involving rape, child abuse, spouse abuse, and domestic violence.
  • 1960
    Age 24
    Ferraro became engaged to Zaccaro in and married him on, 1960.
    More Details Hide Details He became a realtor and businessman. She kept her birth name professionally, as a way to honor her mother for having supported the family after her father's death, but used his name in parts of her private life. The couple had three children, Donna (born 1962), John Jr. (born 1964), and Laura (born 1966). They lived in Forest Hills Gardens, Queens, and in 1971, added a vacation house in Saltaire on Fire Island. They would buy a condominium in Saint Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands in 1983. While raising the children, Ferraro worked part-time as a civil lawyer in her husband's real estate firm for 13 years. She also occasionally worked for other clients and did some pro bono work for women in family court. She spent time at local Democratic clubs, which allowed her to maintain contacts within the legal profession and become involved in local politics and campaigns. While organizing community opposition to a proposed building, Ferraro met lawyer and Democratic figure Mario Cuomo, who became a political mentor.
    She earned a Juris Doctor degree with honors from Fordham University School of Law in 1960, going to classes at night while continuing to work as a second-grade teacher at schools such as P.S. 57 during the day.
    More Details Hide Details Ferraro was one of only two women in her graduating class of 179. She was admitted to the bar of New York State in.
  • 1956
    Age 20
    Ferraro received a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1956; she was the first woman in her family to gain a college degree.
    More Details Hide Details She also passed the city exam to become a licensed school teacher. Ferraro began working as an elementary school teacher in public schools in Astoria, Queens, "because that's what women were supposed to do." Unsatisfied, she decided to attend law school; an admissions officer said to her, "I hope you're serious, Gerry. You're taking a man's place, you know."
  • 1952
    Age 16
    At Marymount Ferraro was a member of the honor society, active in several clubs and sports, voted most likely to succeed, and graduated in 1952.
    More Details Hide Details Her mother was adamant that she get a full education, despite an uncle in the family saying, "Why bother? She's pretty. She's a girl. She'll get married." Ferraro attended Marymount Manhattan College with a scholarship while sometimes holding two or three jobs at the same time. During her senior year she began dating John Zaccaro of Forest Hills, Queens, who had graduated from Iona College with a commission in the U.S. Marine Corps.
  • 1947
    Age 11
    Ferraro stayed on at Mount Saint Mary's as a boarder for a while, then briefly attended a parochial school in the South Bronx. Beginning in 1947, she attended and lived at the parochial Marymount Academy in Tarrytown, New York, using income from a family rental property in Italy and skipping seventh grade.
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  • 1935
    Geraldine Ferraro was born on August 26, 1935 in Newburgh, New York, the daughter of Antonetta L. Ferraro (née Corrieri), a first-generation Italian American seamstress, and Dominick Ferraro, an Italian immigrant (from Marcianise, Campania) and owner of two restaurants.
    More Details Hide Details She had three brothers born before her, but one died in infancy and another at age three. Ferraro attended the parochial school Mount Saint Mary's in Newburgh when she was young. Her father died of a heart attack in, when she was eight. Ferraro's mother soon invested and lost the remainder of the family's money, forcing the family to move to a low-income area in the South Bronx while Ferraro's mother worked in the garment industry to support them.
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