Geraldine Ferraro, First Female VP Candidate, Dies At 75
Geraldine Ferraro, who became the first woman vice presidential candidate on a major U.S. party ticket in 1984, died Saturday in a Boston hospital where she was being treated for blood cancer.
A three-term congresswoman from Queens, Ferraro rose to national prominence in 1984 when she was chosen by presidential nominee Walter Mondale to join his ticket against Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. In the end, Reagan won by a landslide, but Ferraro had sealed her place as trailblazer for women in national politics.
"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," Walter Mondale told The Associated Press.
Sarah Palin paid tribute to Ferraro on her Facebook page:
"She broke one huge barrier and then went on to break many more," Palin wrote. "May her example of hard work and dedication to America continue to inspire all women."
Ferraro stepped into the national spotlight at the Democratic convention in 1984 after Mondale selected her as his running mate. Delegates in San Francisco erupted in cheers at the first line of her speech accepting the vice-presidential nomination.
"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."
Mondale said he selected Ferraro as a bold stroke to counter his poor showing in polls against President Reagan and because he felt America was behind other democracies in elevating women to top leadership roles.
Ferraro was diagnosed with blood cancer in 2001.