Geraldine Ferraro
August 26, 1935

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 in Manhattan.

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.

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