Walter Mondale, Former Vice President, Dead at 93

Former Vice President Walter Mondale waves to supporters in downtown St. Paul, Minn., in 2002.
(Mike Segar/Reuters)

Former Vice President Walter Mondale died at age 93 on Monday evening, a family spokesperson announced.

Mondale served under Democratic president Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981 and was the first vice president to have an office in the White House. Before his term as vice president, Mondale served as Minnesota senator from 1964 to 1976. President Clinton subsequently appointed Mondale as ambassador to Japan in 1993.

Mondale ran for president in 1984 against incumbent Ronald Reagan but won only Minnesota and Washington, D.C. During the campaign, Mondale chose New York congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate, the first female nominee for vice president in a major American political party.

Mondale and his family concluded in recent days that his death was imminent, and he spoke by phone on Sunday with President Biden, former Presidents Carter and Clinton, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Minnesota governor Tim Walz.

“Well my time has come,” Mondale wrote in a letter to former staffers on Saturday. “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!” Mondale’s wife, Joan, died in 2014, while his daughter, Eleanor, died in 2011 following a battle with brain cancer.

President Carter termed Mondale “the best vice president in our country’s history” in a statement Monday.

“He was an invaluable partner and an able servant of the people of Minnesota, the United States, and the world,” Carter said. “Fritz Mondale provided us all with a model for public service and private behavior.”

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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