Geraldine Ferraro: 1935-2011
updated 04/18/2011 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 04/18/2011 AT 01:00 AM EDT
A lawyer who, as a congresswoman in 1984, was tapped by Democrat Walter Mondale to be the first woman on a major presidential ticket, Ferraro died on March 26 at age 75, with her husband of 50 years, John Zaccaro, and their three children at her bedside. Before championing the cause of cancer research, she'd kept her diagnosis secret for three years, calling privacy one perk of losing elections. But for a generation of women, it's the trailblazing-not the loss-that is legacy. "She won't see the woman President who will finish breaking the glass ceiling," says U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, "but we will all be standing on the shoulders of Gerry Ferraro."