Geraldine Ferraro dies at 75

Source Los Angeles Times

Geraldine A. Ferraro, the savvy New York Democrat who was embraced as a symbol of women's equality in 1984 when she became the first woman nominated for vice president by a major party, died Saturday at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. She was 75. The cause was complications from multiple myeloma, her family said. Ferraro was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, an incurable form of blood cancer, in 1998. She did not disclose her illness publicly until 2001, when she went on NBC's "Today" show and said she had beaten the cancer into remission with thalidomide, the once-banned drug that had proven effective with some end-stage cancers. The cancer recurred, but she again went into remission after therapy with a new drug. Initially told that she had three to five years to live, she survived for more than 12 years, long enough to witness the historic candidacies of two other women in 2008: Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former first lady and current secretary of State who ran against Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination, and Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor who was Republican Sen. John McCain's running mate.