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Friday, October 8, 2021
Italian American Heritage Month: Geraldine Ferraro
Few people know that Geraldine Ferraro started out as a schoolteacher. Most people knew her as a politician. After she received her law degree, she became a criminal prosecutor and then congresswoman from Queens, New York. But Geraldine Ferraro really entered the limelight in 1984 by joining Democratic presidential hopeful Walter Mondale to become the first woman and first Italian American to earn the vice-presidential nomination on a major party ticket. To this day, she is the only Italian American to earn one of the top two spots on a major party ticket. As it turned out, Ferraro's time as a political power player was short-lived. Mondale was soundly defeated by President Ronald Reagan that fall, and Ferraro's later attempts to run for the Senate fizzled. Nevertheless, the difficulty of her attempt to crack the glass ceiling became even more apparent in the years that followed, as it would be another quarter-century before Alaska Governor Sarah Palin followed as the second woman to earn a major party vice-presidential nod. No doubt about it -- Ferraro was a proud Italian American and fiery trailblazer who opened doors for so many others!
Part of a month long series spotlighting a different accomplished Italian American every day during Italian American Heritage Month.