Geraldine A. Ferraro, the former Queens congresswoman who in 1984 strode onto a podium to accept the Democratic nomination for vice president and to take her place in American history as the first woman nominated for national office by a major party, died on Saturday at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. She was 75.
“The cause was complications from multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that she had battled for 12 years, her family said in a statement.”
“Ferraro was an assistant district attorney in the borough of Queens when she decided to run for an open congressional seat in 1978. She had far less experience than the other Democrats who sought the seat, but her Italian background and her familiar name — her cousin, Nicholas Ferraro, was the Queens D.A. — boosted her in both the primary and the general election.”
“She made a difference as a young prosecutor in Queens, as a congresswoman, as the first woman and first Italian-American to run for vice-president on a major party line and as a lawyer in private practice. As a role model for women across the world, she demonstrated that glass ceilings can be shattered. I had the honor and privilege to work with Geraldine for many years and I learned a great deal about courage and leadership from her.”
“She was more than a pioneer who inspired me, and generations of women, she was also a great friend and mentor.”
“She broke barriers with a matter-of-factness, modesty, and grace that made her achievements all the more important and becoming. ”
Bill de Blasio:
“Geraldine Ferraro was a true trailblazer who inspired enormous pride among women, Italian-Americans and all New Yorkers.”
“All the while, she never forgot her values of fairness and equal opportunity, and never forgot her roots in NYC and Queens.”
“To residents of Queens, she was our hometown hero who never forgot her roots.”
“And as an eager young delegate to the 1984 Democratic National Convention, I can tell you first hand that Geraldine Ferraro thrilled us when took the stage as the first woman ever nominated by a major political power to be its candidate for Vice President of the United States. It was absolutely electrifying. She changed my life and she changed the course of history.[skip]“I shall miss her dearly, and intend to honor her passing by redoubling my efforts to complete her unfinished work to pass the ERA. It is time to enshrine in our Constitution, the high principle of gender equality that Geraldine Ferraro so courageously stood for in life.”
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