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Lester Mondale

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Reverend Robert Lester Mondale (May 28, 1904 – August 19, 2003) was an American Unitarian minister and Humanist. He was the only person to sign each of the three Humanist Manifestos of 1933, 1973, and 2003.


Mondale was born in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, the son of Methodist minister and World War I hero Theodore Sigvaard Mondale and Jessie Alice Larson.[1][2] Although his family was Methodist, he converted to Unitarianism while earning his B.A. from Hamline University. In 1926 Mondale entered the Unitarian ministry and in 1929 he earned an S.T.B. from Harvard Divinity School.[3] He was ordained by the New North Unitarian Church, Hingham, Massachusetts, and went on to serve congregations in Evanston, Illinois, Kansas City, Missouri; Birmingham, Michigan; White Plains, New York; Tempe, Arizona; and Quincy, Illinois. His younger half-brother was Walter Mondale, Vice-President of the United States under Jimmy Carter.

In 1933, Mondale was the youngest to sign A Humanist Manifesto and was also signatory to the 1973 Humanist Manifesto II. At age 99, he was the oldest to sign the 2003 Humanism and Its Aspirations and was the only signatory to all three documents. He died shortly afterwards.

Mondale was a member of the American Humanist Association (AHA) since its inception and received its Humanist Pioneer award in 1973 and the Humanist Founder award in 2001.

He was married three times. From his first wife, Edith Eldred Klose (1904-1987) he had one daughter, Tarand Elose Mondale Swenstad (1931-2007). [4] From his second wife, Fay A. Smead (1907-1976), he had three daughters: Ellen Smead Mondale (1943-2019), Karen Smead Mondale and Julia Smead Kellum Mondale Jensen. [5][6][7] He married his third wife, Rosemary Delap (born July 14, 1917-) on May 31, 1961. He was survived by his third and last wife.


  • The Missouri still runs wild, Westport Pub. Co. (Kansas City, MO) 1943
  • Three Unitarian philosophies of religion, Beacon Press (Boston) 1946
  • The Unitarian way of life, Beacon Press (Boston) 1943
  • Values in world religions, Starr King Press 1958
  • Preachers in Purgatory With Reference to Accounts of More Than a Hundred Ministers Reporting on Crisis Situations, Beacon Press 1966
  • New Man of Religious Humanism, Volturna Press 1973


  1. ^ "Ancestry World Tree Project". Retrieved 2006-12-22.
  2. ^ "In Memoriam: Unitarian Universalist Ministers 2003 - 2004". Archived from the original on 2006-12-21. Retrieved 2006-12-22.
  3. ^ Schafer, Ed (February 18, 1977). "Lester Mondale Treasures Privacy". The News and Courier. Charleston, SC. pp. 16-A. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  4. ^ Retrieved 2020-11-09. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ "ELLEN MONDALE Obituary (2019) - The Washington Post". Retrieved 2020-11-09.
  6. ^ "Tarand L. "Tarrie" Mondale Swenstad (1931-2007) -..." Retrieved 2020-11-09.
  7. ^ Retrieved 2020-11-09. Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links

This page was last edited on 9 November 2020, at 14:26
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