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MWL to Recognize Walter F. Mondale at its Wahl Leadership Lecture on 9/23/14

Thursday, August 7, 2014  
 Walter F. Mondale

Minnesota Women Lawyers is honored to announce its recognition of Walter F. Mondale, former Vice-President of the United States, for his work to uphold and advance the political, economic, and social rights of women. 

Throughout his career, Walter F. Mondale has demonstrated a deep commitment to advocate for the political equality of women, promote economic justice for women, and foster social justice in protecting and promoting the fundamental rights of women. As a tireless advocate and leader, Mr. Mondale:

- Broke a 175 year-old barrier by selecting Rep. Geraldine Ferraro - a forceful advocate for women's rights within the House Women's Caucus - to be his vice presidential running mate.

- Co-sponsored and strongly supported Senate passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.

- Helped lead the fight for essential EEOC enforcement authority and funding to fight discrimination against women in the workplace under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

- Served as the Senate's leading advocate for access to quality child care for working and low income mothers via the Child and Family Services Act, Head Start and Follow Through programs.

- Built a strong national coalition that culminated in enactment of Title XX of the Social Security Act, dramatically increasing federal support and establishing standards for quality child care.

- Authored the Fair Housing Act which outlawed discrimination against women in the nation's housing market.

- Served as chief Senate sponsor of the Women's Educational Opportunity Act.

- Championed enactment of Title IX of the Higher Education Act to achieve equal opportunity for women in athletics and all other aspects of higher education.

MWL will publicly recognize Mr. Mondale at its Rosalie Wahl Leadership Lecture on the evening of Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014, at the Marriott City Center in Minneapolis. (Event details are available here).

For more information, please contact MWL Executive Director Debra Pexa at 612/338-3205 or



Walter F. Mondale

Walter F. Mondale’s record of public service includes Vice President of the United States, U.S. Ambassador to Japan, U.S. Senator, and Attorney General for the State of Minnesota. He was also the Democratic Party’s nominee for President in 1984. He is currently Senior Counsel with the law firm of Dorsey & Whitney LLP, headquartered in Minneapolis.

After he helped manage Hubert H. Humphrey’s first successful U.S. Senate campaign in 1948, he earned his B.A. in political science from the University of Minnesota in 1951. After completing service as a corporal in the U.S. Army, Mondale received his LL.B. (cum laude) from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1956, having served on the law review and as a law clerk in the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Mondale practiced law for the next four years in Minneapolis. In 1960, Minnesota Governor Orville Freeman appointed him to the position of State Attorney General. Mondale was then elected to the office in 1962, and served until 1964, when Governor Karl Rolvaag asked him to fill the U.S. Senate vacancy created by Hubert Humphrey’s election to the Vice Presidency. The voters of Minnesota returned Mondale to the Senate in 1966 and 1972.

Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale were elected President and Vice President of the United States on November 2, 1976. On the President’s behalf, Mondale traveled extensively throughout the country and the world advocating U.S. policy. He was the first Vice President to have an office in the White House, and he served as a full-time participant, advisor, and troubleshooter for the Administration.

In 1984, Mondale was the Democratic Party’s nominee for President of the United States. Following that election, Mondale practiced law, taught, studied, traveled, and served as a director of both non-profit and corporate boards. He returned to his native Minnesota in 1987, where he practiced law with the firm of Dorsey & Whitney until President Clinton nominated him to be the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, serving from August 13, 1993, to December 15, 1996.

Since returning from Japan, Mondale has become a director of several non-profit and corporate boards. He is the chair of The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation. He also co-teaches a class at the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota on the study of governance and politics. Before his appointment as U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Walter Mondale was a Distinguished University Fellow in Law and Public Affairs at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota. In 1990, he established the Mondale Policy Forum at the Humphrey Institute to bring together leading scholars and policymakers for conferences on domestic and international issues.

Mondale was married to the former Joan Adams for 58 years before she passed away in February 2014. They have three children, Theodore, Eleanor Jane (deceased) and William. They also have four grandchildren.

Mondale has authored two books The Accountability of Power: Toward a Responsible Presidency and The Good Fight: A Life in Liberal Politics and has written numerous articles on domestic and international issues. In his free time, he enjoys fishing, reading historical accounts, and spending time with his family.


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