Geraldine A. Ferraro, the first woman to run on a major party national ticket, has died, her family said Saturday. She was 75 years old. She passed away at Massachusetts General Hospital due to complications from multiple myeloma, a blood cancer she had dealt with for 12 years.
A 1960 graduate of Fordham Law School, Ferraro was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1978. She was subsequently named as the vice presidential candidate to Walter Mondale’s 1984 ticket. In her acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, 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.”
Following the Mondale-Ferraro ticket loss to Reagan-Bush 41% to 59% of the popular vote, Ferraro had two failed runs for the U.S. Senate. She was always marred slightly by rumors of ties to organized crime, which she contended was an ethnic slur due to her being Italian-American.
Ferraro went on to support Hillary Rodham Clinton in the 2008 presidential election, but did say when Sarah Palin was put on the McCain ticket that “every time a woman runs, women win.”