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Ellen McCormack

Ellen Cullen McCormack (September 15, 1926 – March 27, 2011)[1][2] was a candidate for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination in 1976. McCormack was one of the first female candidates for President, alongside women like Shirley Chisholm.

McCormack, generally identified during her 1976 campaign as a "housewife",[1][3] appeared on the ballot in 18 states, more than any female candidate to that point (Republican or Democrat). She was also the first woman to raise enough money to qualify for Federal matching funds[4][5] and Secret Service protection.

She ran on an exclusively pro-life platform and won no primaries, but had her name placed into nomination and received 22 votes from delegates at the Democratic National Convention, and engaged in a debate that also included future President Jimmy Carter.

In 1980 she ran again, this time as a third-party pro-life candidate for President in 1980; her running mate was Carroll Driscoll. They received 32,327 votes.

She had been a chairwoman of the New York Right to Life Party, and was their candidate for Lieutenant Governor of New York in 1978.


McCormack died on March 27, 2011, aged 84, after having suffered for a long period with a heart ailment which originated during one of her pregnancies.[2] She died at an assisted living facility with her family, in Avon, Connecticut.


  1. ^ a b "Uproar over Abortion". Time. 1976-02-16. Retrieved 2008-01-20. Ellen McCormack, 49, a housewife from Merrick, N.Y., is running hard in the Democratic primary... 
  2. ^ a b Durkin, Erin (2011-03-28). "Two-time presidential candidate Ellen McCormack dies at 84".  
  3. ^ Margolis, Jon (1976-07-15). "In the end, they all had this in common -- defeat". Chicago Tribune. p. 6. 
  4. ^ Margolis, Jon (1976-01-28). "Abortion: Issue in primaries". Chicago Tribune. p. 5. 
  5. ^ United Press International (1976-02-26). "Abortion foe qualifies for U.S. vote cash". Chicago Tribune. p. 8. 

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