Geraldine Ferraro, the first American woman to run for national office on a major political party’s ticket, died Saturday at 75.
Ferraro was the Democratic vice-presidential nominee in 1984. Her family said she died at a hospital in the eastern city of Boston of complications from multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that she had battled for 12 years.
Ferraro was the running mate of presidential nominee Walter Mondale on the Democratic Party’s ticket in 1984, when former president Ronald Reagan was running for a second term in the White House.
Mondale, who was former president Jimmy Carter’s running mate four years earlier, said he was determined to set a precedent with his selection of Ferraro for national office. However, the general election resulted in a big victory for Mr. Reagan and his vice president, George H.W. Bush.
No woman has ever been elected to one of the top two positions in the American government. Ferraro was a New York congresswoman at the time of her selection for the national ticket.
In tribute, President Barack Obama called Ferraro “a trailblazer who broke down barriers for women.” He said she “fought to uphold America’s founding ideals of equality, justice and opportunity for all.”
In 2008, when Mr. Obama won election, the Republican Party’s losing ticket included former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, as Senator John McCain’s choice for vice president.
Family members said Ferraro was surrounded by close relatives at the time of her death. A family statement said she was known as “a fighter for justice and a tireless advocate for those without a voice.” The family also said her “courage and generosity of spirit throughout her life … will never be forgotten and will be sorely missed.”