Geraldine Anne Ferraro Zaccaro, 1935 - 2011

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Born: 26 August 1935, Newburgh, New York
Died: 26 March 2011, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

Ferraro's father was an Italian immigrant, her mother the child of Italian immigrants. Educated at a Catholic schools, she attended Marymount Academy at Tarrytown, Now York where she was a member of the honor society and voted most likely to succeed, graduating in 1952. She earned a scholarship to Marymount Manhattan College, graduating in 1956, the first person in her family to do so. She became a school teacher, married John Zaccaro, started law school at night, and was admitted to the New York State bar in 1961. She devoted herself to her family through the decade but joined the office of the Queens district attorney's office, investigating rape, crimes against the elderly, child abuse, and domestic violence. Encouraged by Mario Cuomo she ran for a House seat in 1978 and served three terms. She was chosen by Walter Mondale as his running mate in 1984, she took her feisty blend of law-and-order concerns and liberal values on the road, covering more miles and speaking more often than Mondale himself. They were swamped by a landslide for Reagan, but for both women and immigrants her campaign helped break down barriers. She returned to practicing law, public speaking, and was US Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights from 1993 to 1996. She ran a brief campaign for the US Senate in 1992, a more focused effort in 1998 failed when outspent 5-to-1 by Charles Shumer. In November of 1998 she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, and given three to five years to live. She supported Hillary Clinton in the 2008 presidential campaign. Complications of her cancer hospitalized her about a week before her death.

Biography from Wikipedia and The New York Times obituary

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