In Memoriam: Vice President Walter Mondale: 1928-2021
Former Vice President Walter Mondale of Minnesota died on April 19, 2021, after a long career in public services. He will always be remembered by people working in child welfare as the author of the original Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 1974. He was particularly emphatic that child abuse not solely be seen as an issue of race and class, but one that impacted all spheres of society. "This is not a poverty problem; this is a national problem,” Mondale said, during the authorization hearings.
The son of a Methodist minister and child of the depression, Mandate carried the values of ‘doing justice and loving mercy’ throughout his storied career. He led an amicus brief by 23 attorneys general that resulted in the 1963 Supreme Court ruling Gideon v. Wainwright establishing for the first time a criminal defendant's right to legal counsel. He and President Jimmy Carter are credited with modernizing and empowering the office of the Vice President, setting a role model for Al Gore, Dick Cheney and Joe Biden. As a presidential candidate in 1984, Mondale named Geraldine Ferraro as the first woman on a national ticket. After his loss to Ronald Regan in 1984, Mondale continued a life to teaching and public services, including three years as ambassador to Japan.