The American Democratic politican Geraldine Ferraro died this morning in Boston at the age of 75. She had suffered from leukemia for twelve years.
Ferraro earned her place in US political history by becoming the first woman to appear on the presidential election ticket of a major party. A teacher and lawyer by profession, she had been a congresswoman for three terms when she was chosen by Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale to be his running mate in 1984.
However, incumbent President Ronald Reagan won a spectacular landslide victory with 49 out of 50 states, leaving Mondale and Ferraro with only the former’s home state.
Nevertheless Ferraro has been hailed as a great inspiration to other women in US politics and among those paying tribute to her today was Sarah Palin, whose political views are certainly a far way from those of Ferraro, but who in 2008 became the only other woman so far to be nominated as vice presidential candidate for a major party.
That year Ferraro also served as an advisor to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, but withdrew after what was interpreted as a racial slur against her opponent Barack Obama.