ADDS BIDEN'S STATEMENT
By Servet Gunerigok
WASHINGTON (AA) – Former US Vice President Walter "Fritz" Mondale died Monday at the age of 93, his family announced.
"It is with profound sadness that we share news that our beloved dad passed away today in Minneapolis, Minnesota," said his family in a statement, adding he “died peacefully from natural causes.”
Mondale, a Democrat, served under President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981, becoming the first vice president to have an office in the White House.
Before his office at the presidential mansion, he represented Minnesota in the Senate for 12 years. Mondale also served as Minnesota's attorney general and US Ambassador to Japan.
Carter mourned the passing of his "dear friend," who he called the best vice president in US history.
"During our admin, Fritz used his political skill and personal integrity to transform the vice presidency into a dynamic, policy-driving force," said the former president, referring to Mondale by his nickname.
The environment was one of the major policy focuses for Mondale, with his family saying that the passage of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act "was another hard-fought accomplishment in his long career."
"Beyond his commitment to public service, our dad was committed to our family, and we will miss him more than words can capture," said the statement.
The family is expected to announce plans for memorials later for both Minnesota and Washington, D.C.
In a statement, President Joe Biden paid tribute to Mondale and said he spoke with the late vice president over the weekend.
"It’s with great sadness that Jill and I learned of the passing of Vice President Walter Mondale, but great gratitude that we were able to call one of our nation’s most dedicated patriots and public servants a dear friend and mentor," said Biden.
He said he first called Mondale when former President Barack Obama asked him to be his vice president.
"He not only took my call, he wrote me a memo. It was Walter Mondale who defined the vice presidency as a full partnership, and helped provide a model for my service," said Biden.
"Our hearts go out to the Mondale family. And we take some comfort in the fact that he is with Joan and Eleanor now," said Biden of Mondale's wife who died in 2014 and his daughter in 2011.