MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Tributes are pouring in for Walter Mondale — the former Vice President, U.S. Senator, Minnesota attorney general, ambassador and Democratic presidential candidate — who passed away Monday at his Minneapolis home at age 93.
Former President Jimmy Carter, whom Mondale served under as vice president from 1977 to 1981, said he considers Mondale “the best vice president” in U.S. history.
“Fritz used his political skill and personal integrity to transform the vice presidency into a dynamic, policy-driving force that has never been seen before and still exists today,” Carter said. “Fritz Mondale provided us all with a model for public service and private behavior.”
In a statement released late Monday evening, President Joe Biden said Mondale was one of the first people to greet him when he arrived in the U.S. Senate in 1973.
“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,” Biden said.
Former President Barack Obama also acknowledged Mondale’s transformative tenure as vice president.
Walter Mondale championed progressive causes and changed the role of VP—so leaders like @JoeBiden could be the last ones in the room when decisions were made. In selecting Geraldine Ferraro, he also paved the way for @VP to make history. Michelle and I send prayers to his family.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 20, 2021
Vice President Kamala Harris said in a statement that she recently spoke with Mondale and thanked him for his service.
“Vice President Mondale was so generous with his wit and wisdom over the years,” Harris said. “I will miss him dearly, and my heart is with his family today. I hope they find comfort knowing that he is with his beloved wife, Joan, and daughter, Eleanor, now — and that his legacy will live on in all of us.”
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said Mondale “believed in and worked to create a nation with a heart, a soul, and a conscience.”
Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith said she is “grateful to have known” Mondale, who she considered “a true friend.”
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
Sen. Amy Klobuchar wrote in a statement Monday that Mondale was “a true public servant in every sense of the word.”
“Walter Mondale taught me that leadership isn’t all about giving soaring speeches and punchy sound bites — but actually getting things done for people,” Klobuchar said.
Minnesota Rep. Angie Craig calls Mondale “one of Minnesota’s proudest sons.”
Vice President Mondale was one of Minnesota’s proudest sons. But more importantly, he was a champion for equality and a genuinely kind soul. I’m so glad I was able to get to know him over the past few years. May he rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/Axc04TjoKk
— Angie Craig (@RepAngieCraig) April 20, 2021
Rep. Dean Phillips said Mondale was an “extraordinary mentor.”
America and Minnesota have lost one of our finest statesmen from the greatest generation, and I’ve lost an extraordinary mentor. A man of principle, empathy, decency, and strength whose legacy should be a beacon to all of us during these difficult days. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/OnC1tB7QMC
— Rep. Dean Phillips 🇺🇸 (@RepDeanPhillips) April 20, 2021
Rep. Betty McCollum took to social media to honor Mondale, saying Minnesota was “blessed” to have him “provide us with a lifetime of service.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar hailed Mondale for being “an advocate of peace, fair housing, women’s rights and consumer protection.” She also quoted his statement on last year’s unrest following the death of George Floyd.
“The battle for civil rights is a journey, not an end point. Each generation is tasked with the hard work of serving in the great fight for justice. Our neighbors who took to the streets over the past few weeks have joined a great cause. I thank them,” Mondale said.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said Mondale “put a Minnesota stamp on national politics.”
Walter Mondale’s courage and compassion put a Minnesota stamp on national politics and shaped the civil rights movement. His work on the Fair Housing Act was nothing short of heroic. Even in his 90s he was one of Minneapolis’ most industrious residents. We’ll miss you Fritz. pic.twitter.com/feGy3LVhO1
— Mayor Jacob Frey (@MayorFrey) April 20, 2021
Mondale’s cause of death was not disclosed. He is survived by is two sons, Ted and William.