Walter Frederick (“Fritz”) Mondale (1928–2021), a native Minnesotan, spent most of his life in public service, at the state, national, and international levels. A Democrat and an influential strategist in Minnesota’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party, he held the offices of Minnesota attorney general (1960–1964), United States Senator from Minnesota (1964–1976), Vice President of the United States (1977–1981), Democratic Party candidate for President (1984), and ambassador to Japan (1993–1996).
Mondale and Hubert Humphrey were close friends. When Mondale arrived in the U.S. Senate, he worked with Humphrey—who was then vice president—on a number of progressive issues such as Medicare, Medicaid, education, and environmental protection.
Walter Mondale was a strong supporter of the Humphrey School, as a member of the dean’s advisory council and as an instructor. He also spearheaded a successful fundraising campaign that raised $2 million for student scholarships.
To celebrate their lifetime of contributions to the public good, the School christened its central meeting space the Joan and Walter Mondale Commons in April 2018.
The Minnesota Historical Society is home to the Walter F. Mondale Collection, a vast archive of Mondale's papers, documents, artifacts, and photographs. The collection is a rich resource for students, scholars, and the interested public to learn more about the man, his work, and his times.
Here are several links to the collections.
- Walter Mondale Collection
- Finlay Lewis Papers relating to Walter Mondale
- Joan Mondale personal papers
- Joan Mondale Second Lady papers
Mondale Research Fellowship
Minnesota has a proud history of public servants who made a difference in the lives of the state's citizens and those of the United States. The Mondale Research Fellowship was awarded to historians and researchers from 2012 to 2014 to encourage research on elected government officials whose service in office improved the state and the opportunities of its citizens.
Lori Sturdevant, Editorial Writer and Columnist, Star Tribune
Research project: Her Honor: Rosalie Wahl and the Minnesota Women’s Movement
Ryan Lee Cartwright, American Studies, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Research project: Four Feathered Hats: The First Cohort of Women in the Minnesota State Legislature
Jed Ipsen, Associate Director, Caux Round Table
Research project: Governor Arne Carlson’s Rescue of Minnesota’s Triple A Bond Rating
Joshua Preston, Political Science and History, University of Minnesota, Morris
Research project: Allan Spear and Minnesota’s Human Rights Act of 1993
Freedom Foundation of Minnesota
Research project: The Rise of Rudy Boschwitz
Steven Dornfeld, Reporter, MinnPost
Research project: State Sen. Gordon Rosenmeier
Emily Baer-Bositis, Political Science, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Research project: Don Fraser’s Leadership of the Democratic Study Group and Congressional Reform, 1963-79
Jameson Sweet, PhD Candidate, History, University of Minnesota
Research project: Mixed-Blood Citizens and Statesmen: The Minnesota Territorial Legislature, the Hazelwood Republic, and Debates over Dakota Mixed-Blood Citizenship
Sam Vong, Bruce Gray Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor, History Department, Gustavus Adolphus College
Research project: Walter Mondale and the Global Indochinese Refugee Crisis
Dave Kenney, Freelance Writer and Adjunct Instructor of English, Concordia University, St. Paul
Research project: Senate Minority Leader Robert Ashbach and the Art of Compromise