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Before Hilary Clinton and Sarah Palin, there was Geraldine Ferraro. A little known representative from New York, Ms. Ferraro was selected by Walter Mondale as his running mate on the 1984 Presidential ticket. In some respects, Ms. Ferraro stole the spotlight, not just because of the uniqueness of her candidacy, but also for her inspiring speeches. In the end, the Mondale-Ferraro ticket was not successful. That did not stop Ferraro’s political aspirations, but her later years were characterized more by her legal efforts in defense of women. Ms. Ferraro died on March 26 following a long battle with blood cancer.


  1. Review the definition for leadership and then describe characteristics/accomplishments that made Geraldine Ferraro a leader.
  2. Select one base of power that you believe best represents Ms. Ferraro as a leader. Why did you make your selection?
  3. What accomplishments qualify Ms. Ferraro as a servant leader?
  4. Was Ferraro a transformational leader? What behaviors (listed in the text) influenced your answer?
  5. Arguably, women have a better chance being elected President than they did when Ms. Ferraro was the Vice Presidential nominee in 1984. Discuss reasons why they still have not broken through this particular barrier.

SOURCE: Associated Press, “Geraldine Ferraro, Political Groundbreaker, Dies at 75,” Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at

See related article: D. Jackson, “Geraldine Ferraro, First Female Veep Nominee, Dies,” USA Today (Retrievable online at

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