Birth Name: Geraldine Anne Ferraro
Date of Birth: August 26, 1935
Place of Birth: Newburgh, New York, U.S.
Date of Death: March 26, 2011
Place of Death: Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Geraldine Ferraro was an American attorney and politician.
She was the Democratic Party’s nominee for Vice President of the United States in 1984. Geraldine was the first woman nominated for Vice President of the United States by a major political party.
Geraldine was a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York, from January 3, 1979 to January 3, 1985, as well as United States Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, from 1993 to 1996.
Geraldine was the daughter of Antonetta L. (Corrieri) and Dominick Ferraro. Her father was an Italian immigrant, from Marcianise, Campania. Her mother was born in New York, to Italian parents.
She was married to real estate developer John Zaccaro, with whom she had three children.
Geraldine’s paternal grandparents were named Carlo Ferraro and Maria Senese.
Geraldine’s maternal grandfather was named Domenico Corrieri.
Geraldine’s maternal grandmother was Maria Giuseppa/Giuseppina “Josephine” Caputo (the daughter of Ferdinando Caputo and Anna Monaco). Anna was born in Salerno, Campania, Italy.
Margaret Chase Smith was the first woman to launch a notable campaign for a major political party’s presidential nomination, in 1964, for the Republican Party. Hillary Clinton is the first woman to have been nominated for the Presidency by a major party, in 2016. Clinton is also the only woman to have won a major party’s presidential primary and/or nominating contest, 23 in 2008 and 34 in 2016, other than Shirley Chisholm, who won three non-traditional contests in 1972. Kamala Harris, who was sworn in as Vice President in 2021, is the first woman to serve as either President or Vice President of the United States.
Several people of significant Italian heritage have run plausible or semi-plausible campaigns for a major political party’s nomination for President of the United States. Of these candidates, the ones who have won a major party’s caucus, primary, and/or nominating ballot are:
*Al Smith (who was the Democratic Party’s nominee for President of the United States in 1928, and was also a candidate for the 1920, 1924, and 1932 Democratic nominations for President: in 1928, he won 12 contests; in 1932, he won 4 contests; Smith’s paternal grandfather was Italian)
*Michael DiSalle (1960; Democratic; won 1 state, Ohio)
*Rick Santorum (Republican; ran in 2012 and 2016: in 2012, he won 11 contests; Santorum is of three quarters Italian descent)
Ted Cruz, whose maternal great-grandfather was Italian, won 11 contests in the 2016 Republican Party primaries.
Other people of significant Italian heritage who have mounted plausible or semi-plausible campaigns for a major party’s nomination for President of the United States are:
*John A. Volpe (who sought the 1968 Republican nomination)
*James Traficant (who sought the 1988 Democratic nomination; Traficant’s father was of Italian descent)
*Rudy Giuliani (who sought the 2008 Republican nomination)
*Tom Tancredo (who sought the 2008 Republican nomination)
*Chris Christie (who sought the 2016 Republican nomination; Christie’s mother was of Italian descent)
*George Pataki (who sought the 2016 Republican nomination; Pataki’s maternal grandfather was Italian)
*Richard Ojeda (who sought the 2020 Democratic nomination; Ojeda’s mother is of at least three quarters Italian descent)
*Tim Ryan (who sought the 2020 Democratic nomination; Ryan’s mother is of Italian descent)
*Bill de Blasio (who sought the 2020 Democratic nomination; de Blasio’s mother was of Italian descent)