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Geraldine Anne “Gerry” Ferraro was a remarkable woman in the field of politics and lawmaking. She was an American attorney and Democratic Party politician who served in the United States House of Representatives from January 3, 1979, to January 3, 1985. Most of all, what made Geraldine Ferraro a remarkable woman, is when she became the first female vice-presidential candidate representing a major American political party.
See the fact file below for more information on the Geraldine Ferraro or alternatively, you can download our 22-page Geraldine Ferraro worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
GENERAL FACTS AND SIGNIFICANT DATES
- Geraldine Ferraro was born on August 26, 1935, in Newburgh, New York, U.S.
- She was a mother of three, with her husband John Anthony Zaccaro who is a real estate developer and owner of P. Zaccaro & company.
- Geraldine Ferraro came from the Democratic Party.
- The Democratic Party is the rival political party of the Republican party in the United States.
- The modern-day Democratic Party has its roots back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison’s Democratic-Republican Party.
- However, the Democratic Party that Geraldine Ferraro was a part of was founded by Andrew Jackson in 1828.
- Basing on its historical background and year of origin, the Democratic Party is considered to be the world’s oldest active political party.
- Geraldine Ferraro became the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. (UN-CHR)
- Geraldine Ferraro served as an Ambassador to the UN-CHR from March 4, 1993, to October 11, 1996.
- The president of the United States during Ferraro’s service in the UN-CHR was Bill Clinton.
- The duty of the U. S. Ambassador to the UN-CHR was to be a representative to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights stationed in Geneva.
- The UN-CHR aims to discuss issues concerning the protection and promotion of human rights.
- Geraldine Ferraro became the Secretary of the House Democratic Caucus.
- She served its office from January 3, 1981, to January 3, 1985
- At the time, the office was reserved for a female member of the House.
- The House Leader while Geraldine was secretary was Tip O’Neill.
- Geraldine came from a simple family when she was born on August 26, 1935, in Newburgh, New York.
- Antonetta L. Ferraro, Geraldine’s mother, was a first-generation Italian American seamstress, a woman whose livelihood was sewing.
- Geraldine’s father was an Italian immigrant from Marcianise, Campania named Dominick Ferraro, who owned two restaurants.
- Dominick died of a heart attack in 1944, when Geraldine was eight.
- Geraldine had three brothers born before her, but sadly, one died in infancy and another at the early age of three.
- When Geraldine was just a young girl, she attended the parochial school Mount Saint Mary’s in Newburgh.
- However, Geraldine was forced to move to another school when her family decided to move at South Bronx soon after her father’s death.
- Geraldine attended a parochial school there.
- Geraldine was able to attend and live at the parochial Marymount Academy in Tarrytown, New York in 1947 as the money for her education came from the income of a family rental property in Italy.
- Geraldine was an excellent student as she was a member of the honor society.
- She was voted in her class as “most likely to succeed.”
- Geraldine graduated in Marymount in 1952.
- Antonetta, Geraldine’s mother, pushed her to get a full education, despite her uncle saying that she does not need education because she will eventually get married.
- Geraldine entered college with a scholarship at Marymount Manhattan College.
- While in college, she held two or three jobs at the same time.
- She met and dated John Zaccaro during her senior year, the man who would become her husband.
- In 1956, Geraldine received her Bachelors of Arts in English, making her the first woman to earn a degree in her family.
WORK AND LAW
- Geraldine started working as a public school elementary teacher in Astoria, Queens.
- However, as much as teaching is deemed to be a woman’s work in her time, Geraldine was not satisfied.
- As a result, she decided to attend law school.
- After dedicating her time to two different vocations (attending law school at night while still teaching as a second-grade teacher in the day), she finally earned a Juris Doctor when she graduated with honors from Fordham University School of Law in 1960.
- In March 1961, she passed the bar of New York State.
LEGACY AND CONTRIBUTIONS
- Geraldine Ferraro died due to multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer.
- She was diagnosed in 1998 but did not disclose it until 2001.
- She was given three to five years to live, but it was extended through new cancer therapies and a bone marrow transplant in 2005.
- Geraldine had beaten Stage 1 of the disease.
- Geraldine then advocated the new treatment to be available to others as well.
- Most of Geraldine’s disease treatment happened in the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston but later moved to Massachusetts General Hospital in March 2011.
- She was unable to return to New York since then and died on March 26, 2011.
AWARDS AND HONORS
- She was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1994.
- She received several honorary degrees during her lifetime: Marymount Manhattan College (1982) and New York University Law School (1984), among others.
- She was the initial recipient of the annual Trailblazer Award from the National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations in 2008.
- In the same year, she received the Edith I. Spivack Award from the New York County Lawyers’ Association.
- Recently, she was chosen by the National Women’s History Project as one of its honorees for Women’s History Month in the United States in 2018.
- In 2010, after legislation passed in 2009 to rename a post office in Long Island after Geraldine, the Geraldine A Ferraro Post Office was renamed accordingly. P.S. 290, a public school in Maspeth Queens was renamed Geraldine A. Ferraro Campus in 2013.
Geraldine Ferraro Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Geraldine Ferraro across 22 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Geraldine Ferraro worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Geraldine Anne “Gerry” Ferraro who was a remarkable woman in the field of politics and lawmaking. She was an American attorney and Democratic Party politician who served in the United States House of Representatives from January 3, 1979, to January 3, 1985. Most of all, what made Geraldine Ferraro a remarkable woman, is when she became the first female vice-presidential candidate representing a major American political party.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Geraldine Ferraro Facts
- Fearless Ferraro
- Early Life and Family
- Geraldine’s Roles
- Vote for Geraldine
- She Earned It!
- Women In Office
- Duties and Powers
- Quotes From Ferraro
- Most Likely To…
- Role Model
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Use With Any Curriculum
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