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Former US Vice President Walter 'Fritz' Mondale dies at 93

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Washington | April 20, 2021 8:44:05 AM IST
Walter 'Fritz' Mondale, who served as vice president under President Jimmy Carter, has died at the age of 93.

Family spokesperson Kathy Tunheim confirmed his death. Mondale died at home in downtown Minneapolis, Tunheim said, surrounded by family, reported CNN.

Mondale served as Carter's No. 2 between 1977 and 1981, but his time as vice president came to an end when Ronald Reagan and his running mate, George H. W. Bush, defeated Carter and Mondale in 1980 -- a loss that Democrats wouldn't recover from until 1992, when Bill Clinton helped the party win back control of the White House.

"Today I mourn the passing of my dear friend Mondale, who I consider the best vice president in our country's history. During our administration, Fritz used his political skill and personal integrity to transform the vice presidency into a dynamic, policy-driving force that had never been seen before and still exists today. He was an invaluable partner and an able servant of the people of Minnesota, the United States, and the world," said Jimmy Carter, former US President on the passing of Mondale.

"Fritz Mondale provided us all with a model of public service and private behaviour. Rosalynn and I join all Americans in giving thanks for his exemplary life, and we extend our deepest condolences to his family," added Carter.

Mondale also won his Democratic presidential nomination in 1984, and made history by naming a woman, US Rep Geraldine A Ferraro of New York, as his running mate before ultimately falling short to Reagan.

He also served as both the US ambassador to Japan and the envoy to Indonesia under Clinton, reported CNN.

His last race was in 2002, when he served as Minnesota's DFL Senate candidate, filling the ballot position of the late Sen Paul Wellstone, who had died shortly before the election in October of that year. Mondale was defeated in the race by Republican Norm Coleman.

"Power has now peacefully changed hands and we are so blessed to be Americans when that happens," he said in 2002 after his election loss. "We kept the faith, we stayed the course, we fought the good fight, and every one of us should feel good about that."

Following the loss, he returned to practicing law and teaching at the University of Minnesota.

Mondale had faced a few significant health issues in recent years. In 2014, he underwent a successful heart surgery in his home state of Minnesota, and the following year, he was admitted to the hospital with influenza, reported CNN.

He's preceded in death by his wife, Joan Mondale, who died in 2014. (ANI)

 
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