The year was 1984. Walter Mondale, the vice-president under Jimmy Carter and the leading Democratic presidential candidate, announces that he has chosen Representative Geraldine Ferraro of New York as his running mate. Ferraro, a daughter of Italian immigrants, had previously gained recognition as a vocal advocate of women’s rights in Congress. Ferraro became the first female vice-presidential candidate to represent a major political party.
Contrast that to today, when a womon has been elected and is serving as Vise-President. And the First Black women is a member of the Supreme Court. Women on the political stage have come a long way.
Who Was Geraldine Ferraro?
Geraldine A. Ferraro worked as an assistant district attorney before being elected as a Democrat to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1978. Ferraro was the first woman to chair her party’s 1984 platform committee and the first female vice-presidential nominee, running with Walter Mondale. She later worked for the United Nations and with Hillary Clinton.
Early Life and Education
Ferraro was born on August 26, 1935, in Newburgh, New York. From a working-class Italian American background, she lost her father when she was only eight years old. Her mother moved with Ferraro and her brother to the South Bronx where she worked as a seamstress.
After attending the Marymount School, Ferraro went to Marymount Manhattan College at the age of 16 on a scholarship. She graduated in 1956 and soon after became a teacher in the New York City public school system. Interested in a legal career, Ferraro took night classes at Fordham University where she earned her law degree in 1960.
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