Geraldine Anne Ferraro was born
the daughter of an Italian immigrant in Newburgh, New York. Her
father died when she was young and her mother worked as a seamstress.
Geraldine was a very good student. She skipped three grades, graduated
when she was 16, and won a college scholarship to Marymount College
Geraldine taught English in public
schools in Queens and attended Fordham University Law School at
night. She earned her law degree and married her husband John Zaccaro
in 1960, was admitted to the New York bar in 1961, and practiced
law part time until 1974. Geraldine was a very busy woman during
those years as she also became a mother and spent a lot of time
with her three children: Donna, John, and Laura.
In 1974 Geraldine accepted a job
as an assistant district attorney in the investigative bureau of
Queens. A year later she transferred to a new government job where
she helped people who had been victims of violence. In 1978 she
was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. People voted for
her because she supported laws against violence, wanted to help
the elderly, and also believed in preserving neighborhoods. She
was reelected in 1980 and 1982. People trusted Geraldine and encouraged
her to become a vice presidential running mate with Walter Mondale.
Even though Geraldine and Walter did not win the election, Geraldine
will always be remembered as the first woman to run for Vice-president.