Attorney Jerry Goldfeder wrote in this morning to note the “profound” arc of history in today’s funeral services for the late Queens (and VP contender) Rep. Geraldine Ferraro, who is being laid to rest on the anniversary of the death of the late Manhattan Rep. Bella Abzug.


Goldfeder described Abzug as “a great pioneer whose achievements and fighting spirit led to the success of many women, including Gerry,” adding: “We should take a moment to salute the memory of Bella as we mourn Gerry Ferraro.”

For those not in the know, Abzug was pounding on the glass ceiling even before many were willing to acknowledge it existed. She was an attorney in the 1940s – a time when very few women practiced law – and took on civil rights cases in the South. She was active in the organization Women Strike for Peace and landed on the master list of Nixon opponents.

Abzug served in Congress, representing a Manhattan district (and part of the Bronx, too, for a while) from 1971 to 1977. She introduced the first federal gay rights bill, the Equality Act of 1974, with then Rep. – and future NYC Mayor – Ed Koch.

She ran for the US Senate in 1976, but was defeated by Daniel Patrick Moynihan. She lost a NYC mayoral bid in 1977 and two attempts to return to the House in 1978 and 1986.

Abzug was also Manhattan BP Scott Stringer’s cousin, and he likes to tell the story of how he got his start in politics by campaigning on her behalf at the age of 12.