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BOSTON (AP) -- The first woman to run for U.S. vice president on a major party ticket has died. Geraldine Ferraro was 75.

A family friend acting as a spokeswoman for the family say Ferraro, who was diagnosed with blood cancer in 1998, died Saturday at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Ferraro was an obscure New York City congresswoman when she was catapulted to national prominence at the 1984 Democratic convention. Walter Mondale chose her to run with him against incumbents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.

In the end, Reagan won 49 of the 50 states, the largest landslide in nearly half a century.

Some observers said legal troubles involving her husband and son were a drag on Ferraro's later political ambitions, which included her unsuccessful bids for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in New York in 1992 and 1998.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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