Obituary: Clarence "Pete” Mondale, brother of former vice president, dies at 87

  • Article by: MARY LYNN SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 6, 2014 - 7:48 PM

Clarence C. “Pete” Mondale, brother of former Vice President Walter F. Mondale, died May 2 in his Washington, D. C., home from complications related to melanoma. He was 87.

Mondale, a professor of American civilization at George Washington University for nearly 30 years before he retired in 1992, grew up in southern Minnesota. At age 17, he volunteered for the U.S. Navy and served until 1945.

Mondale received his bachelor’s degree from Macalester College in 1943 and later his master’s and doctorate degrees in American studies from the University of Minnesota, where he taught English and American studies. He later founded the American Studies Program at the University of Alabama, where he taught from 1960 to 1965.

“He was the bright one in the family,” said the former vice president and unassuming younger brother. “He was unpretentious but an able scholar who loved American studies and loved students. He wanted to write and teach.”

“He wrote a couple of books I don’t understand,” Walter Mondale said with a laugh. “He lived the life of scholar. That’s what he did.”

Pete Mondale is survived by his wife, Virginia; seven children; 13 grandchildren; and another brother, Mort Mondale.

An informal service will be held June 8 in Washington.

Mary Lynn Smith

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