78 Facts About Walter Mondale


Walter Frederick "Fritz" Mondale was an American lawyer and politician who served as the 42nd vice president of the United States from 1977 to 1981 under President Jimmy Carter.


Reagan won 49 states while Mondale carried his home state of Minnesota and the District of Columbia.


Walter Mondale was born in Ceylon, Minnesota, and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1951 after attending Macalester College.


Walter Mondale then served in the US Army during the Korean War before earning a law degree in 1956.


Walter Mondale was appointed to the US Senate by Governor Karl Rolvaag upon the resignation of Senator Hubert Humphrey following Humphrey's election as vice president in 1964.


Walter Mondale was elected to a full Senate term in 1966 and reelected in 1972, resigning in 1976 as he prepared to succeed to the vice presidency in 1977.


In 1984, Walter Mondale won the Democratic presidential nomination and campaigned for a nuclear freeze, the Equal Rights Amendment, an increase in taxes, and a reduction of US public debt.


Walter Frederick Mondale was born on January 5,1928, in Ceylon, Minnesota, to Theodore Sigvaard Mondale, a Methodist minister, and Claribel Hope, a part-time music teacher.


Walter Mondale has two brothers, Clarence, known as Pete, and William, known as Mort.


Walter Mondale's mother was born in Iowa, the daughter of an immigrant father, Robert Cowan, who was born in Seaforth, Ontario; she was of Scottish and English descent.


Walter Mondale's family moved from Ceylon to Heron Lake in 1934, and to Elmore in 1937.


Walter Mondale served with the 3rd Armored Division Artillery at Fort Knox, Kentucky, during the Korean War, first as an armored reconnaissance vehicle crewman, and later as an education programs specialist and associate editor of the unit's newsletter, Tanker's Dust.


Walter Mondale attained the rank of corporal and was discharged in 1953.


In 1955, Walter Mondale married Joan Adams, whom he met on a blind date.


Walter Mondale then practiced law in Minneapolis for four years before entering politics.


Humphrey's campaign assigned Walter Mondale to cover the staunchly Republican 2nd district.


Walter Mondale, who had grown up in the region, was able to win the district for Humphrey by a comfortable margin.


Walter Mondale worked on Freeman's unsuccessful 1952 campaign for the governorship as well as his successful campaign in 1954 and his 1958 reelection campaign.


At the time he was appointed, Walter Mondale was 32 years old and had been practicing law for four years.


Walter Mondale was elected to the post in his own right in 1962.


When those opposed to the right to counsel organized a friend of the court brief representing several state attorneys general for that position, Walter Mondale organized a countering friend of the court brief from many more state attorneys general, arguing that defendants must be allowed a lawyer.


At the 1964 Democratic National Convention, Walter Mondale played a major role in the proposed but ultimately unsuccessful compromise by which the national Democratic Party offered the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party two at-large seats.


Walter Mondale served as a member of the President's Consumer Advisory Council from 1960 to 1964.


Walter Mondale served in the 88th, 89th, 90th, 91st, 92nd, 93rd, and 94th congresses.


Walter Mondale worked hard to build up the center of the party on economic and social issues.


Walter Mondale showed little or no interest in foreign policy until about 1974, when he realized that some foreign policy knowledge was necessary if he had loftier aspirations than the Senate.


Walter Mondale developed a centrist position, avoiding alignment with either the party's hawks or its doves.


Walter Mondale took a liberal position on civil rights, which proved acceptable in Minnesota, a state with "a minuscule black population".


Walter Mondale was a chief sponsor of the federal Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination in housing and created the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity as the primary enforcer of the law.


Walter Mondale rotated on and off numerous committees, including the Aeronautical and Space Sciences Committee; the Finance Committee; the Labor and Public Welfare Committee; the Budget Committee; and the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee.


Walter Mondale served as chairman of the Select Committee on Equal Education Opportunity and the Intelligence Committee's Domestic Task Force.


Walter Mondale additionally served as chairman of the Labor and Public Welfare Committee's subcommittee on Children and Youth and the Senate subcommittee on social security financing.


In 1975, Walter Mondale served on the Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, chaired by Idaho Senator Frank Church, that investigated alleged abuses by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


In 1967, Mondale served on the Aeronautical and Space Sciences Committee, then chaired by Clinton P Anderson, when astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee were killed in a fire on January 27 while testing the Apollo 204 spacecraft.


Seamans was afraid Walter Mondale might be in possession of a copy, so he admitted that NASA often reviewed its contractors' performance, with both positive and negative results, but claimed that was nothing extraordinary.


Under repeated questioning from Walter Mondale, Webb promised that he would investigate whether the "Phillips Report" existed, and if so, whether a controlled release could be made to Congress.


The ticket was narrowly elected on November 2,1976, and Walter Mondale was inaugurated as Vice President of the United States on January 20,1977.


Walter Mondale became the first vice president to live at Number One Observatory Circle.


Under Carter, Walter Mondale traveled extensively throughout the nation and the world advocating the administration's foreign policy.


Walter Mondale was the first vice president to have an office in the White House and established the concept of an "activist Vice President".


Walter Mondale began the tradition of weekly lunches with the president, which continues to this day.


Walter Mondale cast one tie-breaking vote in the US Senate on November 4,1977, allowing the Social Security financing bill to be passed.


That year, Walter Mondale opened the XIII Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid, New York.


Carter and Walter Mondale were the longest-living post-presidential team in American history.


At the time of his death, Walter Mondale was the oldest living US vice president and Carter was the oldest living US president.


Walter Mondale ran for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in the Democratic presidential primaries preceding the 1984 election, and was the front-runner.


Walter Mondale's opposition included Reverend Jesse Jackson and Senator Gary Hart from Colorado.


Jackson, widely regarded as the first serious African-American candidate for president, held on longer, but Walter Mondale gained the nomination with the majority of delegates.


At the Democratic National Convention, Walter Mondale chose US Representative Geraldine Ferraro from New York as his running mate, making her the first woman nominated for that position by a major party.


Walter Mondale was the first Italian American to reach that level in American politics.


Walter Mondale ran a liberal campaign, supporting a nuclear freeze and the Equal Rights Amendment.


Walter Mondale spoke against Reagan's economic policies and in support of reducing federal budget deficits.


However, the incumbent was popular, and Walter Mondale's campaign was widely considered ineffective.


Walter Mondale was perceived as supporting the poor at the expense of the middle class.


Walter Mondale was defeated in a landslide, receiving 37,577,352 votes, and winning only the District of Columbia and his home state of Minnesota, securing only 13 electoral votes to Reagan's 525.


Until his appointment as Ambassador to Japan, Mondale was a Distinguished University Fellow in Law and Public Affairs at the Hubert H Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.


Walter Mondale spoke before the US Senate on September 4,2002, delivering a lecture on his service, with commentary on the transformation of the office of the vice president during the Carter administration, the Senate cloture rule for ending debate, and his view of the future of the Senate.


Walter Mondale replaced Wellstone on the ballot at the urging of Wellstone's relatives.


The Senate seat was the one Walter Mondale had held before resigning to become vice president in 1977.


Walter Mondale unexpectedly lost the election, receiving 1,067,246 votes to Coleman's 1,116,697.


In 2004, Walter Mondale became co-chairman of the Constitution Project's bipartisan Right to Counsel Committee.


Walter Mondale endorsed Senator Hillary Clinton for president in 2008.


On June 3,2008, following the final primary contests, Walter Mondale endorsed Senator Barack Obama, who had clinched the nomination the previous evening, and won the presidency.


Walter Mondale then stood again with Senator Klobuchar when Tina Smith was sworn in on January 3,2018.


Walter Mondale's wife, Joan Walter Mondale, was a national advocate for the arts and was the Honorary Chairman of the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities during the Carter Administration.


In 1998, Ted Walter Mondale unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for Minnesota governor, running as a fiscal moderate who had distanced himself from labor.


Walter Mondale had radio talk shows in Chicago and a long-running program on WCCO in Minneapolis.


Walter Mondale died of brain cancer at her home in Minnesota on September 17,2011, at the age of 51.


Walter Mondale had a residence near Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis.


Walter Mondale enjoyed fishing, reading Shakespeare and historical accounts, barbecuing, skiing, watching Monty Python, and playing tennis.


Walter Mondale was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa as an honoris causa initiate at the University of South Carolina in 1981.


Walter Mondale maintained strong ties to the University of Minnesota Law School.


In later years, Walter Mondale served on the executive committee of the Peace Prize Forum, an annual conference co-sponsored by the Norwegian Nobel Institute.


In 2015, Walter Mondale was awarded the Public Leadership in Neurology Award from the American Academy of Neurology for raising awareness for brain health, having lost both his wife and daughter to brain diseases.


Walter Mondale died of natural causes in his sleep at his home in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on April 19,2021, at the age of 93.


Walter Mondale emailed a final message to his staff, as he and his family had come to the conclusion that "his death was imminent".


At the time of his death, Walter Mondale was the oldest living former US vice president.


Walter Mondale's work is documented in full text access to selected proceedings and debates on the floor of the Senate as recorded in the Congressional Record.