Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and President Bill Clinton released the following statement on the passing of Geraldine Ferraro, the first female Vice Presidential candidate representing a major U.S. political party and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights from 1993 to 1996:
"Gerry Ferraro was one of a kind -- tough, brilliant, and never afraid to speak her mind or stand up for what she believed in -- a New York icon and a true American original. She was a champion for women and children and for the idea that there should be no limits on what every American can achieve. The daughter of an Italian immigrant family, she rose to become the first woman ever nominated to the national ticket by a major political party. She paved the way for a generation of female leaders and put the first cracks in America's political glass ceiling. She believed passionately that politics and public service was about making a difference for the people she represented as a congresswoman and Ambassador.
"For us, Gerry was above all a friend and companion. From the rough-and-tumble of political campaigns to the important work of international diplomacy, we were honored to have her by our side. She was a tireless voice for human rights and helped lead the American delegation to the landmark Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. Through it all, she was a loyal friend, trusted confidante, and valued colleague.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Gerry's husband John, her children and grandchildren, and their entire family."