Geraldine Ferraro, First Woman VP Candidate, Dies at 75

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In a statement today, Palin said, "When I had the honor of working alongside Geraldine on election night last year, we both discussed the role of women in politics and our excited expectation that someday that final glass ceiling would be shattered by the election of a woman president. She was an amazing woman who dedicated her life to public service as a teacher, prosecutor, Congresswoman, and Vice Presidential candidate. She broke one huge barrier and then went on to break many more. The world will miss her. May she rest in peace and may her example of hard work and dedication to America continue to inspire all women."

President Obama said in a statement that Ferraro "will forever be remembered as a trailblazer who broke down barriers for women, and Americans of all backgrounds and walks of life. Whether it was as a public school teacher, assistant district attorney, Member of Congress, or candidate for Vice President, Geraldine fought to uphold America's founding ideals of equality, justice, and opportunity for all. And as our Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Commission, she stood up for those ideals around the world. Sasha and Malia will grow up in a more equal America because of the life Geraldine Ferraro chose to live."

Former President George H.W. Bush said he and the former first lady were deeply saddened to learn of Ferraro's death.

"Though we were one-time political opponents, I am happy to say Gerry and I became friends in time -- a friendship marked by respect and affection," Bush said. "I admired Gerry in many ways, not the least of which was the dignified and principled manner she blazed new trails for women in politics."

Ferraro graduated from Fordham Law School, one of only three women in her class. She said that an admissions officer said to her, "I hope you're serious, Gerry. You're taking a man's place, you know."

She raised her children, passed the bar, served as an assistant district attorney in the Queens County District Attorney's Office, and was first elected to Congress from New York's Ninth Congressional District in Queens in 1978. She served three terms in the House.

From 1996 until 1998, Ferraro was a co-host of "Crossfire," a political interview program, on CNN. She was also a partner in the CEO Perspective Group, a consulting firm that advises top executives.

Ferraro was first diagnosed with multiple myeloma in December 1998. She publicly disclosed the illness in June 2001.

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