Mondale, Walter Frederick

Mondale, Walter Frederick ("Fritz"), 1928–2021, Vice President of the United States (1977–81), b. Ceylon, Minn., Univ. of Minn. (B.A., 1951; LL.B., 1956). A liberal Democrat, Mondale was active in the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party and served as state attorney general (1960–64). When Hubert Humphrey became vice president in 1964, Mondale was appointed to replace him in the U.S. Senate; he served until 1977, championing civil and women's rights, healthcare, and education. In 1976 Jimmy Carter chose Mondale to be his vice president; Mondale subsequently became one of the first vice presidents to be significantly involved in an administration. Carter and Mondale ran for reelection in 1980, but lost to the Republican ticket of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. In 1984 Mondale, as the Democratic presidential nominee, became the first major-party candidate to choose a woman, Geraldine Ferraro, as a running mate. The Mondale-Ferraro ticket lost to the incumbents. Mondale was U.S. ambassador to Japan from 1993 to 1996, and served as a special envoy to Indonesia in 1998. After the death of Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone shortly before the 2002 vote, Mondale was nominated to run in his place but failed to win the election.

See his autobiography (2010).

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