Walter Mondale, the former US vice president and liberal leader who lost to Ronald Reagan in one of the most lopsided presidential elections in history in 1984, has died at the age of 93.
His death was confirmed by his family in a statement. He was a former congressman, diplomat, and Minnesota attorney general.
“It is with great sadness that we share the news that our beloved father passed away today in Minneapolis, Minnesota,” his family said in a statement released Monday.
According to a statement from Mondale’s family, no cause of death was released.
Prior to serving as Jimmy Carter’s deputy between 1977 and 1981, the Democrat served in the Senate for 12 years, representing Minnesota. He served as the American ambassador to Japan for three years under Bill Clinton.
“Today I mourn the passing of my dear friend Walter Mondale, whom I consider the best vice president in our country’s history,” Carter said in a statement, expressing his condolences to the family of his former number two.
“He was a valuable partner and a capable servant of Minnesotans, Americans, and the world.”
“There have been few senators, before or since, who have commanded such universal respect,” President Joe Biden said of Mondale. Walter Mondale helped describe the vice presidency as a full partnership, and his service served as a model for mine.”
Vice President Kamala Harris said she spoke with Mondale “just a few days ago” and that he has always been “so generous with his wit and wisdom over the years.”
“I will be reminded of and thankful for Vice President Mondale’s life of service every time I open my desk drawer and see his signature there, alongside the signatures of 11 other Vice Presidents,” she said in a statement.
In 1984, he ran for President as the Democratic Party’s candidate against Ronald Reagan. Just his home state of Minnesota and the District of Columbia voted for him, and he lost in one of the most lopsided electoral wins in modern American politics.
Mondale began his political career as a member of Minnesota’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and later worked on Hubert Humphrey’s 1948 Senate campaign.
He graduated from the University of Minnesota law school in 1956 and served as Minnesota’s attorney general from 1960 to 1964, when he was named to the Senate to finish Humphrey’s term after becoming Vice President of Lyndon B. Johnson.
Mondale was elected to the Senate twice, the first in 1966 and the second in 1972.
Joan, his 58-year-old wife, died in 2014 at the age of 83 after a long illness. Eleanor, his daughter, died in 2011 as a result of a brain cancer diagnosis.