Mondale served as Vice President under President Jimmy Carter before making his own run for the nation's top office.
Former Vice President Walter Mondale died Monday at age 93, his family confirmed in a statement. Mondale, who was the 1984 Democratic nominee for president and also served as a longtime senator from Minnesota, died "peacefully from natural causes," the family said.
"It is with profound sadness that we share news that our beloved dad passed away today in Minneapolis, Minnesota," Mondale's family said.
The son of a minister, Mondale became one of Minnesota's most famous political figures in a state known for Democratic politicians. He was first elected to the Senate in 1964 to replace then-Vice President Hubert Humphrey, a mentor. In his 12 years in the U.S. Senate, Mondale followed in the footsteps of Humphrey, the lead author of the Civil Rights Act, in championing civil rights and other progressive causes.
In the statement announcing his death, Mondale's family emphasized his work in passing civil rights legislation and the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act.
"The Fair Housing Act of 1968 was one of his proudest – and hardest fought – achievements," Mondale's family said. "In the course of his years in the U.S. Senate, he understood the sense of reckoning that this country then faced, and was committed to that work alongside Hubert Humphrey, Josie Johnson, Roy Wilkins and so many others. We are grateful that he had the opportunity to see the emergence of another generation of civil rights reckoning in the past months."
Jimmy Carter, the governor from Georgia who had improbably won the Democratic nomination in 1976, turned to Mondale when he needed a "Northern presence" on the ticket — and someone who had a liberal track record. Despite being relatively unknown, the pair narrowly prevailed over President Gerald Ford, who was severely weakened by Watergate and Vietnam.
In a statement after Mondale's death, Carter called Mondale a "dear friend" and said he considers him the "greatest vice president in our country's history."
"During our administration, Fritz used his political skill and personal integrity to transform the vice presidency into a dynamic, policy-driven force that had never been seen before and still exists today," Carter said. "He was an invaluable partner and an able servant to the people of Minnesota."
This article was originally published on CBSNews.com on April 19, 2021 at 9:05 p.m. ET.