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John Anthony Zaccaro (born April 5, 1933)[1] is the husband of the U.S. House of Representatives member and Democratic Party 1984 Vice Presidential nominee, Geraldine Ferraro (D-NY). He is a successful real estate developer and owner of P. Zaccaro & Company, which was founded by his father Philip Zaccaro in 1935.[2][3] The company acts as a landlord for properties in the Little Italy, Chinatown, and East Side areas of Manhattan and in Queens.[1]

He was born in the Bay Ridge, Brooklyn neighborhood, to Italian American parents born in the U.S.[1] When an infant the family moved, and he grew up in Forest Hills, Queens.[1] He attended Loyola School and Rhodes Preparatory School, both in Manhattan.[1] A severe football injury left him unavailable for the draft, but he nonetheless joined the United States Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Class, becoming a second lieutenant.[1] At the same time he attended Iona College from 1951 to 1955 and graduated with a degree in business administration.[1]

Zaccaro and Ferraro met in 1954, when she was a sophomore at Marymount Manhattan College.[1] They became engaged in August 1959,[4] and married on July 16, 1960.[1] They have three children, Donna (born 1962), John Jr. (born 1964), and Laura (born 1966).[1]

By 1984, his company owned or managed over 20 residential and commercial properties in Manhattan.[3] His buildings had accumulated over 100 mostly minor code violations, although in some tenants complained of poor living conditions in apartments.[3]

During his wife's campaign for vice president, he became the center of controversy due to their finances and his refusal to release his separately-filed tax returns.[2][5] Ultimately they were submitted.[6]

In January 1985, Zaccaro pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtain bank financing in a real estate transaction and was sentenced to 150 hours of community service.[7] Then in October 1986, he was indicted on unrelated felony charges regarding an alleged 1981 bribery of Queens Borough President Donald Manes concerning a cable television contract.[8] A full year later, he was acquitted at trial.[9]

Zaccaro's business associations have also created controversy,[10] and they and the couple's finances again became a damaging issue during her 1992 Senate Democratic primary campaign[11] (which she entered as the front-runner, and lost by a close margin).[12] Zaccaro was not an issue in her 1998 Senate Democratic primary campaign, which she also lost.[13]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Blumenthal, Ralph (1984-08-18). "Ferraro's Husband: Competitive, Private Man". The New York Times.  
  2. ^ a b Gerth, Jeff and Blumenthal, Ralph (1984-07-26). "Rep. Ferraro's Transactions Detailed in Public Records". The New York Times.  
  3. ^ a b c Blumenthal, Ralph (2008-09-04). "When the Press Vetted Geraldine Ferraro". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-25.  
  4. ^ "John Zaccaro Fiance Of Geraldine Ferraro". The New York Times. 1959-08-09.  
  5. ^ Raines, Howell (1984-08-14). "G.O.P. Seizes 'Genderless Issue' of Tax Returns to Attack Ferraro". The New York Times.  
  6. ^ Roberts, Sam (1984-08-22). "Ferraro Denies Any Wrongdoing; 2d Loan By Zaccaro From Estate". The New York Times.  
  7. ^ Blumenthal, Ralph (1985-02-21). "Judge Sentences Zaccaro to Work in Public Service". The New York Times.  
  8. ^ Lamar Jr., Jacob V. (1986-10-13). "The Family Ties That Bind". Time.,9171,962540,00.html.  
  9. ^ James, George (1987-10-15). "Jury Acquits Zaccaro of Seeking To Extort Cable Television Bribe". The New York Times.  
  10. ^ "Hiding Her Cards", Wayne Barrett, Village Voice, September 1, 1998.
  11. ^ Mitchell, Alison (1992-09-01). "For Ferraro, Cheers of '84 Are Still Resonating". The New York Times.  
  12. ^ Purdum, Todd S. (1992-09-16). "Abrams, In Tight Senate Vote, Appears to Edge Out Ferraro". The New York Times.  
  13. ^ Waldman, Amy (1998-09-17). "The Farewell: For Ferraro, Early Promise, Lopsided Loss". The New York Times.  


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