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
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
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.