Geraldine Ferraro was the first woman nominated by a major political party as its candidate for Vice President of the United States.
A teacher and then attorney, Ferraro worked in the Queens, New York District Attorney’s office, where she started the Special Victims Bureau. Ferraro ran successfully for Congress from New York City’s 9th District in 1978. There, she was a women’s and human rights advocate, working for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, sponsoring the Women’s Economic Equity Act ending pension discrimination against women, and seeking greater job training and opportunities for displaced homemakers.
In 1984, Ferraro was picked to run as Vice President of the United States on the Democratic Party ticket with former Vice President Walter Mondale as the candidate for President. In her acceptance speech, she spoke of the realization of the American dream: “Tonight, the daughter of an immigrant from Italy has been chosen to run for vice president in the new land my father came to love…” The ticket lost, but Ferraro’s candidacy forever reshaped the American political and social landscape.