Walter “Fritz” Mondale has died at the age of 93. According to a family spokesperson, Mondale died of natural causes at his Minneapolis home.
A life-long public servant, the native of Ceylon, Minnesota, quickly rose through the ranks of Minnesota politics after attending Macalester College and the University of Minnesota. He became Minnesota attorney general in 1960, and then took over Hubert Humphrey’s seat in the U.S. Senate in 1964. Mondale was a senator until 1976, when he became President Jimmy Carter’s running mate and the two later served together in the White House. He would later lose in the 1984 presidential election to Ronald Reagan, but did carry his home state.
In a statement, Carter called Mondale “the best vice president in our country’s history.”
Statement from Jimmy Carter on the passing of Walter Mondale is below. pic.twitter.com/SOqAmTSYo6
— The Carter Center (@CarterCenter) April 20, 2021
In a farewell letter to his staff posted by Axios, he said, “Together we have accomplished so much and I know you will keep up the good fight.”
Walter Mondale was my mentor from the first time I worked for him in college. My job then? Doing the furniture inventory.
He encouraged me to run for office and was always there for me. But I wasn’t the only one. He saw his mission as preparing a new generation of leaders. pic.twitter.com/LEa87Lt4vs
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) April 20, 2021
I loved Walter Mondale and I’m not the only one. Mondale was a giant not only because of the positions he held—Minnesota Attorney General, U.S. Senator, Vice President, Democratic Presidential candidate and Ambassador—but because of the work that he did.
— Senator Tina Smith (@SenTinaSmith) April 20, 2021
Today, Minnesota and the nation mourn the loss of a beloved public servant. Gwen and I mourn the loss of a dear friend and mentor.
Walter Mondale believed in and worked to create a nation with a heart, a soul, and a conscience.
— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) April 20, 2021
The Star Tribune has published a lengthy obituary detailing his small-town beginnings up through his many accomplishments in public service. Here’s another at The New York Times.