Geraldine Anne Ferraro passed away today at the age of 75. The cause of death was complications from multiple myeloma.

Ferraro is best known as the first woman (and Italian American) to be on the presidential ticket of a major US political party; she was the Democratic vice presidential candidate in the 1984 election, with Walter Mondale as the presidential candidate.

The Mondale-Ferraro ticket lost to the Republican ticket of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. 

After Ferraro's vice presidential run, it would take nearly a quarter of a century before another woman would do the same (Sarah Palin in 2008).

Palin said the following: 

 

“My family and I would like to express our sincere condolences to the family of Geraldine Ferraro. When I had the honor of working alongside Geraldine on election night last year, we both discussed the role of women in politics and our excited expectation that someday that final glass ceiling would be shattered by the election of a woman president. She was an amazing woman who dedicated her life to public service as a teacher, prosecutor, Congresswoman, and Vice Presidential candidate. She broke one huge barrier and then went on to break many more. The world will miss her. May she rest in peace and may her example of hard work and dedication to America continue to inspire all women.”

Ferraro, a native New Yorker, worked in the Queens County District Attorney’s Office in the Special Victims Bureau early in her career.  In 1978, she was elected to Congress.  During her tenure there, she worked to advance women’s rights.  Just a few years later, she was selected by Walter Mondale to run with him in the 1984 election.

After that, she served in various government positions in President Bill Clinton's administration.  In 2008, she helped with the presidential campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Ferraro is survived by her husband, three children, and eight grand children.