Ferraro represented parts of Queens in the House of Representatives, but she was best known as the running mate of Walter Mondale for his 1984 run for president. She gave up her seat in congress to join the ticket, making her the first female vice presidential candidate for a major political party.
Mondale would eventually lose his bid in a historic landslide. Some would argue that his choice to share the ticket with a woman was just too progressive for the time and was his ultimate downfall, but the truth is that Mondale was done in by President Ronald Reagan's immense popularity at the time, and his defeat had little to do with choosing Ferraro as his running mate.
In fact, if the energetic and likable Ferraro had been the Democratic Party's presidential nominee that year, it's possible the party would have had a better chance of defeating Reagan, or at the very least turned in a more respectable showing.
Ferraro is the perfect example of the outspoken, confident and charismatic female politicians New York City produces, a list that includes Brooklyn's Shirley Chisholm, who in 1972 – 12 years before Ferraro would gain nationwide attention as Mondale's running mate – made an unsuccessful run for the Democratic Party's nomination for president.
Geraldine Ferraro will be sorely missed. Maybe we should have named a bridge after her instead?