Geraldine Ferraro, who trailblazed American politics for women when she became a vice presidential candidate of the Democratic Party in the mid-1980s, died Saturday, according to a family statement. She was 75.
A resident of New York City, Ferraro died in Massachusetts General Hospital, surrounded by loved ones. The cause of death was complications from multiple myeloma, a blood cancer she had battled for 12 years, according to the statement released by her family from Boston.
Ferraro pioneered in the man’s world of White House elections in 1984 when she became the first female vice presidential candidate from a major U.S. political party and ran with Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale.
Her rise in politics was an American rags-to-riches story. The daughter of Italian immigrant parents, she lost her father at age 8, grew up in the South Bronx of New York City, worked her way through law school, became a prosecutor, ran for Congress and won, and then asked Americans to elect her as vice president.