World & Nation

Kara Kennedy, Eleanor Mondale lose battles with cancer

The daughters of two legendary Democratic politicians have died: Kara Kennedy, the oldest child of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, and Eleanor Mondale, the daughter of former Vice President Walter F. Mondale.

Both women had been battling cancer. Their deaths were announced by their families Saturday, according to the Associated Press.

Kennedy, 51, died at a health club in the Washington area, said her brother, Patrick Kennedy, a former Democratic congressman from Rhode Island.

“Her heart gave out,” her brother said. “She’s with dad.”


Her father, the patriarch of the legendary political clan, died in 2009.

Kennedy had battled lung cancer. Her brother said she loved to exercise, but that her treatment “took quite a toll on her and weakened her physically.”

She had help run her father’s 1988 Senate reelection campaign and was a member of the advisory board of the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

Kennedy is survived by her husband, Michael Allen, a son and a daughter.


Mondale, 51, died at her home Saturday, according to a family spokesman. She had been battling brain cancer.

Mondale was an entertainment reporter and radio host. 

She had left her job at a Minneapolis radio station in 2009 after a recurrence of her brain cancer and had surgery to remove the tumor at the Mayo Clinic in nearby Rochester, Minn.

She was the middle of three children of Walter Mondale, a former senator from Minnesota who served as vice president from 1977-1981 under Jimmy Carter and was the Democratic nominee for president in 1984.

Eleanor Mondale had a bit of a wild streak. She had a relationship with rock musician Warren Zevon and had been a TV actress with bit parts in “Three’s Company” and “Dynasty” before becoming an entertainment reporter on radio and TV.

She was married three times: to Chicago Bears offensive lineman Keith Van Horne, to radio disc jockey DJ Greg Thunder and rock musician Chan Poling.

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