Walter Mondale

official photo of Walter Mondale c. 1977, U.S. Government

Birth Name: Walter Frederick Mondale

Place of Birth: Ceylon, Minnesota, U.S.

Date of Birth: January 5, 1928

Ethnicity:
*50% Norwegian
*25% Scottish
*12.5% English
*12.5% German
[approximately]

Walter Mondale is an American politician. A Democrat, he served as the 42nd Vice President of the United States, from January 20, 1977 to January 20, 1981. He was elected to the position in 1976. He was previously a U.S. Senator from Minnesota, from December 30, 1964 to December 30, 1976, and was later the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, from September 21, 1993 to December 15, 1996.

He was the Democratic Party’s nominee for President of the United States in 1984. He was also the Democratic Party’s nominee for re-election as Vice President of the United States in 1980.

Vice President Mondale was the son of Claribel Hope (Cowan) and Theodore Sigvard/Sigurd Mondale. His paternal grandparents were Norwegian. His mother’s ancestry was Scottish, English, and German. His maternal grandfather was born in Canada. He was married to artist and author Joan (Adams) Mondale, until her death. The couple has three children. His brother was The Rev. Lester Mondale, a Unitarian minister.

Vice President Mondale’s paternal grandfather was Ole Fredericksen/Fredriksen/Fredrikson Mundal/Mondale (the son of Jørgen Fredrik/Fredrick Pedersson/Pederson/Person Vangsnes Mundal and Brita Hansdatter/Hansdotter Mundal/Mundale). Ole was born in Mundal, Balestvand, Sogn, Norway. Jørgen was the son of Per Bendikson Vangsnes and Anna Christine/Kristina Hansdotter Bremer. Brita was the daughter of Hans Persson/Person Mundal and Gjertrud/Gjertrude Hansdotter/Hasdatter Bale.

Vice President Mondale’s paternal grandmother was Tarand Caroline Espegard Sevatsdatter/Sevatson/Severtsdatter (the daughter of Sevat Erikson/Erickson Espegardjorde/Espegard Underberget and Margit Olsdatter Opheim). Tarand was born in Al, Hallingsdal, Buskead, Norway. Sevat was the son of Eirik Sevatson Vangen Underberget and Torand Levorsdatter Espegard. Margit was the daughter of Ola Olson Opheim Kringla and Sunnev Torkjelldtr Svarteberg.

Vice President Mondale’s maternal grandfather was Robert Cowan (the son of Walter Cowan and Agnes Turnbull Phorson). Robert was born in Seaforth, Ontario, Canada. Walter was born in Galashiels, Roxburgshire, Scotland, the son of Hector Cowans and Agnes Moscrip. Agnes was born in Averum, Berwickshire, Scotland, and was likely the daughter of Robert Phorson and Jean Gray.

Vice President Mondale’s maternal grandmother was Clara Belle Morton (the daughter of James Morton and Ann/Anna Margaret Wilt). Clara was born in Johnston, Pennsylvania. James was born in England. Ann was born in Pennsylvania, of mostly or entirely Pennsylvania Dutch [German] descent, and was the daughter of Jacob Yingling Wilt and Ann Margaret Arble.

One other person of significant Scandinavian ancestry has served as Vice President of the United States, Hubert Humphrey, from January 20, 1965 to January 20, 1969. He was also a member of the Democratic Party.

Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale are also the two people of significant Scandinavian ancestry who have been nominated for President of the United States by a major political party, with Humphrey’s nomination having been in 1968, both by the Democratic Party.

Mondale was also the Democratic Party’s nominee for re-election as Vice President in 1980. Aside of Humphrey and Mondale, two people of significant Scandinavian ancestry have been nominated for Vice President of the United States by a major American political party. They are:
*Earl Warren (1948; Republican; Warren was of Norwegian and Swedish descent)
*Lloyd Bentsen (1988, Democratic; Bentsen’s father was of Danish descent)

Walter is one of several people of significant Scandinavian ancestry to have won a major American political party’s Presidential caucus and/or primary. He won 20 contests in 1984, the year he was nominated. The others are:
*Earl Warren (who sought the 1936, 1944, 1948, and 1952 Republican nominations; each time, won 1 state, California)
*Charles A. Christopherson (who sought the 1944 Republican nomination; won 1 state, South Dakota; Christopherson’s parents were Norwegian)
*Joe Foss (who sought the 1956 Republican nomination; won 1 state, South Dakota; Foss’s father was of Norwegian descent)
*Hubert Humphrey (Democratic; in 1952, he won 1 state, Minnesota; in 1960, he won 2 states; in 1972, he won 5 states)
*Henry M. Jackson (Democratic; in 1976, won 1 state; Jackson also sought the 1976 nomination)

Other people of significant Scandinavian heritage who are mounting or have mounted plausible or semi-plausible campaigns for a major party’s nomination for President of the United States are:
*Pat Paulsen (who sought 1968, 1972, 1980, 1988, 1992, and 1996 nominations, usually Democratic; Paulsen’s father was Norwegian)
*Frank Carlson (who sought the 1968 Republican nomination; Carlson’s parents were Swedish)
*Lloyd Bentsen (who sought the 1976 Democratic nomination)
*John B. Anderson (who sought the 1980 Republican nomination, and was later an independent 1980 candidate; Anderson’s father was Swedish and Anderson’s mother was of Swedish descent)
*Gary Johnson (who sought the 2012 Republican nomination, and was the Libertarian Party’s 2012 and 2016 nominee for President of the United States; Johnson’s father was adopted by Danish and Norwegian parents, and was possibly himself of Scandinavian descent)
*Michele Bachmann (who sought the 2012 Republican nomination; Bachmann is of Norwegian descent)
*Jon Huntsman, Jr. (who sought the 2012 Republican nomination; Huntsman is of one eighth Swedish, one eighth Norwegian, and one sixteenth Danish, descent)
*Geoffrey Feiger (who is seeking the 2020 Democratic nomination; Feiger’s maternal grandmother was of Norwegian descent)
*Eric Swalwell (who sought the 2020 Democratic nomination; Swalwell’s mother is of Swedish and Danish descent)

Sources: Genealogies of Vice President Mondale – http://www.wargs.com
https://www.geni.com
https://wc.rootsweb.com

Genealogy of Vice President Mondale’s father – http://www.findagrave.com

Obituaries of Vice President Mondale’s maternal grandparents, Robert Cowan and Clara Belle (Morton) Cowan – http://www.findagrave.com

Obituary of Vice President Mondale’s maternal grandmother, Clara Belle (Morton) Cowan – http://www.iagenweb.org

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