Walter Frederick "Fritz" Mondale was an American lawyer and politician who served as the 42nd vice president of the United States from 1977 to 1981 under President Jimmy Carter. A U.S. senator from Minnesota from 1964 to 1976, he was the Democratic Party's nominee in the 1984 presidential election, but lost to incumbent Ronald Reagan in an Electoral College and popular vote landslide. Reagan won 49 states while Mondale carried his home state of Minnesota and the District of Columbia. His vice presidential nominee, U.S. Representative Geraldine Ferraro from New York, was the first female vice-presidential nominee of any major party in U.S. history.
Mondale was born in Ceylon, Minnesota, and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1951 after attending Macalester College. He then served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War before earning a law degree in 1956. He married Joan Adams in 1955. Working as a lawyer in Minneapolis, Mondale was appointed Minnesota Attorney General in 1960 by Governor Orville Freeman and was elected to a full term as attorney general in 1962 with 60% of the vote. He was appointed to the U.S.