Former Vice President Walter Mondale dies at age 93

WDIO
Updated: April 20, 2021 09:12 AM
Created: April 19, 2021 07:58 PM

Former Vice President Walter Mondale has died at age 93. Mondale's family says he died Monday in Minneapolis.

Mondale served Minnesota as attorney general and U.S. senator. He followed the trail blazed by his political mentor, Hubert H. Humphrey, to the vice presidency, serving under Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981. Mondale’s own try for the White House, in 1984, came at the zenith of Ronald Reagan’s popularity. On Election Day, he carried only his home state and the District of Columbia.

The statement from the family can be read below:

It is with profound sadness that we share news that our beloved dad passed away today in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

As proud as we were of him leading the presidential ticket for Democrats in 1984, we know that our father's public policy legacy is so much more than that. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 was one of his proudest – and hardest fought – achievements. In the course of his years in the U.S. Senate, he understood the sense of reckoning that this country then faced, and was committed to that work alongside Hubert Humphrey, Josie Johnson, Roy Wilkins and so many others. We are grateful that he had the opportunity to see the emergence of another generation of civil rights reckoning in the past months.

It is also poignant that his other area of major policy focus was the environment, as the world's grappling with climate change enters a new generation of critical work. Passage of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act was another hard-fought accomplishment in his long career.

He was honored to serve as Minnesota's Attorney General, as United States Senator from Minnesota, as U.S. Ambassador to Japan; his greatest honor and privilege, of course, was serving as Vice President of the United States under President Jimmy Carter.

Beyond his commitment to public service, our dad was committed to our family, and we will miss him more than words can capture. He was preceded in death by our sister, Eleanor, and our mother. He is survived by sons Ted and William; grandchildren Louis, Amanda, Berit and Charlotte Mondale, and Cassandra and Danielle Miller; daughter-in-law Rebecca Mondale and son-in-law Chan Poling.

We also want to express our deep gratitude to all the people who worked on his staff in each public office and who maintained active connections with him in the years since. Finally, deep appreciation to Lynda Pedersen, his long-standing executive assistant at the Dorsey Law firm and to Patti Schwartz, his primary homecare provider since the passing of our mother, Joan, in 2014.

He sat down with former WDIO anchor Dennis Anderson in 2010. 

"You wrote, 'I will be remembered as the Democrat who carried the banner of liberalism against tough odds and lost to Ronald Reagan.' What is Mondale Liberalism?" Anderson asked.

"It's practical. It tries to get things done that people need and to use government where government is necessary to make it work," Mondale said. 

Upon his death, a letter was sent to former staffers. 

Dear Team,

Well my time has come. I am eager to rejoin Joan and Eleanor. Before I Go I wanted to let you know how much you mean to me. Never has a public servant had a better group of people working at their side! 

Together we have accomplished so much and I know you will keep up the good fight.

Joe in the White House certainly helps.

I always knew it would be okay if I arrived some place and was greeted by one of you!

My best to all of you!

Fritz

The family said plans for memorials in Minnesota and Washington, D.C., will be announced later.

Copyright 2021 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

New owner needed for lighthouse in Duluth

Life House celebrates 30 years of service

Cirrus plane involved in mid-air crash

Get creative for the annual Bookmark Design Contest

Walz, legislative leaders remain "hopeful" to pass police reform

Experts don't anticipate a gas shortage in the midwest, advise people not to panic buy