Geraldine A Ferraro

Lived:August 26, 1935—March 26, 2011 (aged 75)
Career:U.S. House of Representatives, 1979-1985
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, 1994-1996
Education:B.A., Marymount College
Fordham University School of Law

Geraldine A. Ferraro served in the United States House of Representatives, representing New York's 9th District, from 1979 to 1985.

Ferraro was born August 26, 1935, in Newburgh, New York. She attended Marymount College in New York City, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1956. She taught in the New York public schools while completing her law degree from Fordham University, receiving her degree in 1960. Following college, Ferraro practiced law, worked as an assistant district attorney in Queens, New York, and worked in the Special Victims Bureau.

In 1984, Ferraro became the first woman to be a vice presidential candidate on a major party ticket when she joined the Democratic ticket as Walter Mondale's running mate. After the defeat, Ferraro returned to practicing law and served as a fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics from 1988 until 1992. In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed Ferraro to the United Nations Human Rights Convention in Geneva, Switzerland. In September 1995, Ferraro served as the vice chair of the United States Delegation to the Fourth World Conference on Women, which was held in September.

Ferraro was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a dangerous form of blood cancer; and, in 1998, she spoke openly about treatment with the drug, thalidomide. Ferraro urged for research regarding multiple myeloma and thalidomide. She passed away in May 2011 from complications from the blood cancer.

For information on Ferraro's policy subject areas, committee appointments and sponsored/co-sponsored legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, please visit her profile on