The late Vice President Walter Mondale will be remembered in a May 1 service on the University of Minnesota campus, about a year after his death at age 93.
The memorial will honor his lasting legacy in state and national politics. The Minnesota native rose from the state’s youthful attorney general to an influential senator, vice president and Democratic nominee for president.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith will speak at the memorial at Northrop auditorium, as well as presidential historian Jon Meacham. Other speakers have been invited but not yet confirmed, according to a release from the university.
As a U.S. senator, Mondale helped create new social programs and was a champion of civil rights and environmental protections. Former President Jimmy Carter chose Mondale as his running mate in 1976, eventually forging a partnership where Mondale acted as Carter’s chief adviser.
Mondale’s transformation of the office became a model for future vice presidents, including President Joe Biden.
Mondale was the Democratic nominee for president in 1984 and lost in a historic landslide to incumbent President Ronald Reagan. But he stayed active in politics, serving from 1993 to 1996 as U.S. ambassador to Japan under Bill Clinton. Mondale resisted urging from colleagues to run again for the U.S. Senate, but in 2002 he had to take the place of the late Sen. Paul Wellstone on the ballot after Wellstone died in a plane crash. Mondale lost to Republican Norm Coleman.
Other than the three years they lived in Japan, Mondale and his wife, Joan, called Minnesota home. He died in Minneapolis on April 20, 2021. She died in 2014.
Services were originally planned for last September in Minnesota and Washington D.C. but were delayed.
The May 1 service will be held from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Northrop auditorium. The event is invitation-only but will be livestreamed for the public to watch.