Vice President Walter Mondale, Jimmy Carter's Running Mate, Dies at 93

vice president walter mondale
(Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Walter Mondale, the 42nd vice president of the United States and former Presidential candidate, has died. He was 93 years old. Mondale, who served as vice president under Jimmy Carter from 1977 until 1981, passed away in Minneapolis, according to his family. After Carter and Mondale were defeated by Ronald Reagan in their 1980 re-election bid, Mondale went on to run for President against Reagan in 1984. Running against a president at the height of his popularity and with little chance to win, Mondale's running mate was Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman to be nominated as vice president by a major U.S. political party.

Before becoming vice president, Mondale served as Minnesota's attorney general, and later as one of its U.S. senators. After losing the 1984 election, Mondale went to work with the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, a nonprofit, nonpartisan (it's a "small-D democratic" group) that helped promote democracy in developing countries.

"Today I mourn the passing of my dear friend Walter Mondale, who I consider the best vice president in our country's history," said former President Jimmy Carter in a statement. "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 to the people of Minnesota, the United States, and the world. Fritz Mondale provided us all with a model for public service and private behavior. Rosalynn and I join all Americans in giving thanks for his exemplary life, and we extend our deepest condolences to his family."

In 2002, Mondale ran for his old Senate seat as a last-minute replacement for the late Paul Wellstone, who died in a plane crash two weeks prior to the election. He narrowly lost out to Norm Coleman, who would serve one term before losing an election to celebrity candidate Al Franken.

Mondale provided himself with a suitable eulogy, having written a letter to his staff, which was delivered to them upon news of his death. You can see that note below.

Dear Team,

Well my time has come. I am eager to rejoin Joan and Eleanor. Before I Go I wanted to let you know how much you mean to me. Never has a public servant had a better group of people working at their side!

Together we have accomplished so much and I know you will keep up the good fight.

Joe in the White House certainly helps.

I always knew it would be okay if I arrived some place and was greeted by one of you!

My best to all of you!

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Fritz

Our thoughts go out to Vice President Mondale's family, friends, and colleagues at this difficult time.