Former US vice president and liberal leader, Walter Mondale, who lost to Ronald Reagan in one of the most lopsided presidential elections in 1984, has died at the age of 93.
The death of the former senator, ambassador and Minnesota attorney general was announced in a statement from his family.
“It is with profound sadness that we share news that our beloved dad passed away today in Minneapolis, Minnesota,” his family said in a statement on Monday, April 19.
No cause was given for Mondale’s death, according to the statement from his family.
Before serving as Jimmy Carter’s deputy between 1977 and 1981, the Democrat had 12 years in the Senate representing his home state of Minnesota. Under Bill Clinton, he spent three years in Tokyo as the American ambassador to Japan.
“Today I mourn the passing of my dear friend Walter Mondale, who I consider the best vice president in our country’s history,” Carter said in a statement, extending his condolences to his former number two’s family.
“He was an invaluable partner and an able servant of the people of Minnesota, the United States and the world.”
President Joe Biden said of Mondale: “There have been few senators, before or since, who commanded such universal respect. … It was Walter Mondale who defined the vice presidency as a full partnership, and helped provide a model for my service.”
Vice President Kamala Harris said that she had spoken with Mondale “a few days ago” and that he was always “so generous with his wit and wisdom over the years.”
“Each time I open my desk drawer and see his signature there, alongside the signatures of 11 other Vice Presidents, I will be reminded of and grateful for Vice President Mondale’s life of service,” she said in a statement.
He ran as the Democratic presidential nominee against Ronald Reagan in 1984. He lost in one of the most lopsided electoral victories in modern American politics, winning only his home state, Minnesota, and the District of Columbia.
Mondale started his career as an activist in Minnesota’s Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party, then by working on Hubert Humphrey’s Senate campaign in 1948.
He graduated from the University of Minnesota law school in 1956 and was the state’s attorney general from 1960 until he was appointed to the Senate in 1964 to finish Humphrey’s term after he became Lyndon B. Johnson’s vice president.
Mondale was elected to the Senate in 1966 and again in 1972.
His wife of 58 years, Joan, died in 2014 at age 83 after a long illness. His daughter, Eleanor, died in 2011 after being diagnosed with brain cancer.