Walter Mondale Biography

Walter Mondale is an American politician and lawyer who served as the 42nd Vice President of the United States, from 1977 to 1981.

Quick Facts

Birthday: January 5, 1928

Nationality: American

Famous: Political Leaders American Men

Age: 92 Years, 92 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Capricorn

Also Known As: Vice President Walter Mondale, Walter Frederick Mondale, Walter Frederick

Born in: Ceylon

Famous as: The 42nd Vice President of the U.S.A.

Height: 6'0" (183 cm), 6'0" Males

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political ideology: Political party - Democratic


Spouse/Ex-: Joan Mondale

father: Theodore Sigvaard Mondale

mother: Claribel Hope

siblings: Lester Mondale

children: Eleanor Mondale, Ted Mondale, William H. Mondale

Ideology: Democrats

U.S. State: Minnesota

More Facts

education: University of Minnesota, Macalester College, University of Minnesota Law School

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Walter Mondale is an American politician and lawyer who served as the 42nd Vice President of United States, from 1977 to 1981, in the Democratic administration of President Jimmy Carter. A native of Minnesota, Mondale studied in public schools and later obtained a degree in political science. Subsequently, he was enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and upon returning, Mondale earned a law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School. Then, he was admitted to the bar and started practice in Minneapolis, working as a lawyer for four years before entering in politics, although he had previously managed several political campaigns. In 1960, he was appointed the attorney general of Minnesota, where he served until 1964 when he was elected to the senate. Subsequently, Mondale was re-elected to the post twice, serving as a U.S. Senator for 12 years. In 1977, he was inaugurated as the 42nd Vice President of the United States, on the Democratic ticket with President Jimmy Carter. Upon the completion of their four year term, the duo was re-nominated by the Democratic Party but they were defeated by the Republican candidates. In 1984, Mondale captured the Democratic presidential nomination but lost to Ronald Reagan, after which he joined a Minnesota-based law firm. In 1993, he was chosen to be the United States Ambassador to Japan, where he served for three years. Thereafter, he returned to his work at the law firm and still remains an active Democrat, serving his country

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Childhood & Early Life
  • Walter Frederick "Fritz" Mondale was born on January 5, 1928, in Ceylon, Minnesota, to Theodore Mondale, a Methodist clergyman, and his wife, Claribel Mondale, a part-time music teacher.
  • After completing his elementary education from public schools, Mondale attended Macalester College, and then graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelors of Arts degree in political science, in 1951.
  • While in college, Mondale became involved in politics and managed the activities of Minnesota's emerging Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party. In 1948, he helped manage Hubert Humphrey's first successful U.S. Senate campaign.
  • After completing his graduation, he joined the U.S. Army and served a couple of years at Fort Knox during the Korean War. Afterwards, he was enrolled in the University of Minnesota Law School and graduated with a law degree, in 1956. Subsequently, Mondale was admitted to the Minnesota State Bar and began practicing law in Minneapolis.
  • While practicing law between during the next four years, Mondale also worked as the campaign manager for Orville Freeman's successful gubernatorial re-election campaign in 1956 and 1958.
  • In 1960, following the resignation of Miles Lord, Mondale was appointed to the post of attorney general of Minnesota. Two years later, in 1962, Mondale won the election to the office and served until 1964. Between 1960 and 1964, he also served as a member of the President's Consumer Advisory Council.
  • After serving as state attorney general for four years, Mondale was asked to fill the U.S. Senate vacancy caused by Hubert Humphrey's election to the vice presidency. In December 1964, Mondale was appointed to the United States Senate.
  • In 1966, Mondale won the election to the Senate and was re-elected in 1972, serving on seven successive congresses until 1976. During his 12 years as a senator, Mondale served on numerous committees, such as the Finance and Budget committees and the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare. He also chaired the Select Committee on Equal Education Opportunity and the Intelligence Committee's Domestic Task Force.
  • In 1976, Mondale was elected to the post of the Vice President on the Democratic ticket as Jimmy Carter’s running mate. After being inaugurated at the office, Mondale served as both general adviser and emissary for the President. He was the first Vice President to have an office in the White House.
  • In 1980, the Carter-Mondale duo was defeated for re-election by the Republican pair, Ronald Reagan and George Bush. In 1984, Mondale was successful in capturing the Democratic presidential nomination but was defeated by Ronald Reagan.
  • Following his defeat, Mondale returned to his native Minnesota in 1987 and resumed practicing law as a partner with the law firm, Dorsey & Whitney. Alongside, he also assisted with Democratic Party politics on the state level.
  • Over the next few years, Mondale served as on the boards of directors on several non-profit organizations such as the Guthrie Theatre Foundation, Mayo Foundation, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, RAND Corporation, and University of Minnesota Foundation.
  • In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed Mondale the United States Ambassador to Japan, where he served until 1996. Thereafter, he returned to Minnesota and resumed working at the law firm.
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Major Works
  • As a United States Senator, Mondale was a strong supporter of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. He played a key role in securing the adoption of an amended Open Housing Act in 1968 which capped off the legislative civil rights revolution of the decade.
  • As the Vice President of the United States, Mondale traveled extensively around the world, advocating U.S. policy. During his term, Mondale handled 13 foreign assignments which included delicate missions to Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, and Africa.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • In December 1955, Walter Mondale married Joan Adams, an artist, whom he had met on a blind date. They had three children; Theodore Adams, Eleanor Jane, and William Hall.
  • The couple remained together until Joan’s death in 2014 while their daughter Eleanor died of brain cancer in 2011.

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Last Updated
- October 17, 2017
Walter Mondale

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