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Geraldine Ferraro

Geraldine Ferraro

Geraldine A. Ferraro is co-host of Crossfire, CNN's popular political debate program. Ferraro earned a place in history as the first woman vice-presidential candidate on a national party ticket. Ferraro joined Crossfire in February 1996, joining Bill Press on the left, while John Sununu and Pat Buchanan alternate on the right side. Crossfire, which celebrates its 15th year anniversary this year, airs live from Washington weeknights from 7:30 - 8:00 p.m. (ET).

Ferraro was first elected to Congress from New York's Ninth Congressional District in Queens in 1978 and served three terms in the House of Representatives. Her committee assignments in Congress included the Public Works Committee, Post Office and Civil Service Committee and Budget Committee, where she was a strong voice against the Reagan Administration's economic policies. Ferraro also served on the Select Committee on Aging where she was an advocate for the elderly, fighting proposed cuts in Social Security and Medicare.

In Congress, Ferraro spearheaded efforts to achieve passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. She also sponsored the Women's Economic Equality Act, which ended pension discrimination against women, provided job options for displaced homemakers and enabled homemakers to open IRAs.

Ferraro was appointed the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission by President Clinton in 1994 and served in that position through 1996. She served as a public delegate in February 1993 and was also the alternate United States delegate to the World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna in June 1993 and vice-chair of the U.S. Delegation at the Fourth Conference on Women held in Beijing, September 1995.

An active participant in the nation's foreign policy debate, she serves as a board member of the National Democratic Institute of International Affairs and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Before entering politics, Ferraro taught elementary school in the New York City Public Schools for five years. During that time, she also put herself through Fordham Law School at night. After spending thirteen years at home raising her three children, she joined the Queens County District Attorney's office. There she started the Special Victims Bureau, supervising the prosecution of sex crimes, child abuse, domestic violence and violent crimes against senior citizens.

Ferraro has honorary degrees from a number of colleges and universities nationwide. She currently serves as a board member of the Fordham Law School Board of Visitors, the New York Easter Seal Society, the National Italian American Foundation, the Board of Advocates of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Board of Advisories of National Breast Cancer Research Fund and the Pension Rights Center. She also serves on the board of New York Bancorp.

In addition to numerous articles, Ferraro has written two books, Ferraro, My Story, which recounts the '84 campaign, and Geraldine Ferraro: Changing History.

Ferraro was born in Newburgh, New York. She and her husband, realtor John Zaccaro have three children, Donna, John and Laura.


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