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Walter Frederick “Fritz” Mondale, former senator from Minnesota and vice president to Jimmy Carter, has died at the fine old age of 93. He was a proud progressive from Minnesota who got his start in politics at age 20 by successfully getting out the vote in a Republican majority district for Hubert Humphrey’s 1948 Senate run. Mondale, on graduating college, enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1951, but was not deployed to Korea. On completing his enlistment, Mondale used the G.I. Bill to attend law school, during which time he married Joan Adams, his one and only love for the rest of their lives together, until she died at age 83.
In 1976, Walter Mondale helped balance the Democrats’ presidential ticket with the nuclear engineer Navy officer and peanut farming Southern governor, Jimmy Carter. Mondale helped deliver Minnesota for the Democrats in 1980, 46.50% to Reagan’s 42.56% and Independent John Anderson’s 8.53%. He had no political reach beyond his home state, however, as the electoral college map shows: