Former Vice President Walter Mondale, who served with Jimmy Carter, dead at 93

walter mondale jimmy carter
Walter Mondale, Former Vice President of the United States, sat on stage with former President Jimmy Carter during a celebration of Mondale’s 90th birthday Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018 at the McNamara Alumni Center on the University of Minnesota’s campus in Minneapolis.

Walter Mondale, who served as vice president under former President Jimmy Carter, died on Monday at the age of 93.

According to Axios, Mondale contacted Presidents Joe Biden, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter on Sunday to let them know his death was near. Mondale passed away in Minneapolis, according to his family.

Biden long admired Mondale, whose nickname was “Fritz.” At an event honoring Mondale in 2015, Biden said, “I took Fritz’s roadmap. He actually gave me a memo, classic Fritz, gave me a memo, as to what I should be looking for and what kind of commitments I should get to be able to do the job the way Fritz thought it should be done.”

Mondale’s political life spanned decades, starting with his career as a lawyer and serving as Minnesota’s attorney general, and including a later stint as an ambassador to Japan under President Clinton.

VP Walter Mondale in the kitchen of the Vice President's Residence
U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale lifts his Thanks Giving turkey from the broiler, Thursday, Nov.11, 1977 in the kitchen of his Washington residence. “Every Thanksgiving,” Mondale stated, “I make the turkey and let my wife sleep.”

Before serving as Carter’s vice president, Mondale served as a US Senator from Minnesota and wrote a book in 1975, titled, “The Accountability of Power: Toward a More Responsible Presidency.”

After their term together, on November 4, 1980, Carter and Mondale lost their reelection campaign to former President Ronald Reagan and then running-mate George H.W. Bush.

In 1984, Mondale would run again, this time securing the Democratic nomination for president and choosing the first female running mate on a general election ticket, New York Rep. Geraldine Ferraro. Mondale and Ferraro were defeated by Reagan and Bush in 1984. They won only one state, Mondale’s home state, and the District of Columbia. It was the most lopsided general election defeat in US history, and when Mondale at the 1984 Democratic convention, Mondale said, “Let’s tell the truth… Mr. Reagan will raise taxes, and so will I. He won’t tell you, I just did.” The line infamously helped cement the eventual election defeat.

Walter Mondale/ Geraldine Ferraro
On Wednesday, Sept. 5, 1984, Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale and his running mate, Geraldine Ferraro, wave as they leave an afternoon rally in Portland, Ore.

With a staunch commitment to liberal politics and deep involvement with Carter’s decision-making domestically and internationally, Mondale is considered to have transformed the role of the vice presidency.

After news of Mondale’s passing broke on Monday, Carter issued a statement calling Mondale, “the best vice president in our country’s history.”

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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Bernie Madoff, Wall Street financier and Ponzi scheme organizer, has died at age 82

Bernie Madoff
Bernie Madoff arrives at Manhattan Federal court on March 12, 2009 in New York City.

Bernie Madoff, the Wall Street financier-turned-Ponzi scheme kingpin, has died, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

He was 82. Madoff apparently died of natural causes in federal prison, according to an AP source. He is survived by his wife, Ruth Madoff.

Born in New York City in 1938, Madoff founded a stock brokerage in 1960 that eventually became Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities. The firm specialized in over-the-counter penny stocks, using pink sheet quotes to make markets for traders. Madoff’s brokerage then moved on to computerized trades, employing information technology to organize quotes. The digital market-making service went on to underpin the NASDAQ exchange.

The brokerage bypassed traditional exchange firms to allow traders to directly order from retail brokers, and at one point served as the largest market maker at the NASDAQ. Madoff served as a NASDAQ director for three single-year terms.

The financier developed close friendships with major players in the financial sector and used his network to spark what became the largest case of financial fraud in US history. Madoff signed on numerous wealthy friends as investors in his firm offered hefty compensation, and garnered recommendations on other investors to fold into the venture. He also warmed up to financial industry regulators, building up the brokerage as a prestigious and respected firm in the lucrative sector. Wealthier and wealthier financiers were drawn into the business seeking the prestige that emanated from Madoff’s firm.

The garnering of new capital kicked off Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. New investments would pay off those having already joined, and new clients were encouraged to attract more investors. The scheme granted major profits to those who joined the firm early and eventually drove billions of dollars in losses for the majority of clients who worked with Madoff’s business later on.

No major Wall Street firms invested with Madoff, as they suspected his operations were not legitimate. Others pointed to Madoff’s three-person team as proof that the firm couldn’t pull in the massive gains they posted.

Investigators estimated that Madoff’s scheme began in the early 1980s. The Securities and Exchange Commission conducted several investigations into the business but failed to find any evidence of malpractice. The Central Bank of Ireland missed any warning signs when Madoff’s multibillion-dollar fraud began using Irish funds to pad returns.

Madoff was arrested in New York in December 2008 after a whistleblower – who was later identified as one of his sons – said the financier was failing to pay off $7 billion to his clients. Many of Madoff’s business partners looked to pull their funds from the business in December as the global financial crisis prompted mass fear around the financial industry’s validity. Madoff sought to pay out $173 million in bonuses to his closest partners, but when his sons caught wind of the rewards and confronted their father, he admitted that the entire firm was “just one big lie” and “basically, a giant Ponzi scheme.”

Madoff’s sons reported their father to federal authorities, and the disgraced financier was arrested and charged with securities fraud on December 11, 2008. He pleaded guilty to 11 federal felonies on March 12, 2009, including securities fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, and perjury.

District Court Judge Denny Chin sentenced Madoff to 150 years in federal prison on June 29, 2009. Madoff’s lawyers asked the judge to shorten the sentence to 7, and later 12, years due to his limited life expectancy, but Chin ruled the sentence was appropriate, calling Madoff’s crimes “extraordinarily evil.”

Madoff requested compassionate release from prison last year, telling a judge he had only 18 months to live due to end-stage kidney disease and other “chronic, serious medical conditions.”

A judge denied his request in June 2020.

The size of Madoff’s fraud varies from estimate to estimate. Early investigators pegged the fraud’s total value at $65 billion, while trustees of assets seized Irving Pickard estimated the amount owed to victims was roughly $57 billion. Former SEC chair Harvey Pitt noted the fraud likely involved between $10 billion and $17 billion.

Pickard was tasked with recovering funds lost in the scheme and returning them to investors. He and his team have already recovered more than $13 billion in lost funds, roughly three-quarters of approved claims, by suing those who profited from Madoff’s scheme.

The US government announced in November 2017 it would begin paying out $772.5 million to more than 24,000 victims of Madoff’s scheme.

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Kent Taylor, the ‘maverick entrepreneur’ who founded Texas Roadhouse, has died at 65

Texas Roadhouse
  • Kent Taylor, who founded Texas Roadhouse in 1993, died Thursday at the age of 65.
  • Taylor was most recently the board chairman and the chief executive officer.
  • Louisville’s mayor remembered him as a ‘kind and generous spirit’ who put others first.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Kent Taylor, the founder and CEO of Texas Roadhouse, known for his deep care for workers and entrepreneurial spirit, died Thursday at age 65, the company said.

Taylor founded the Lone Star State-themed steakhouse – famous for its loyal fans, free peanuts, and unlimited rolls and butter – in 1993. In the decades since, he “dedicated himself to building it into a legendary experience for ‘Roadies’ and restaurant guests alike,” the restaurant’s lead director Greg Moore said in the statement.

“He was without a doubt, a people-first leader,” Moore said, noting that Taylor forfeited his compensation package amid the COVID-19 pandemic in support of his workers. “His entrepreneurial spirit will live on in the company he built, the projects he supported and the lives he touched.”

The company did not specify a cause of death.

Taylor was the visionary behind the company’s partner model and its mission of “Legendary Food and Legendary Service,” Jefferies analyst Andy Barish said in a note. The restaurant chain, which now has more than 600 locations across the country, went public in 2004. Since then, its “unending focus on delivering a quality experience with great value has made it one of the most consistent casual dining companies overall,” Barish said.

Texas Roadhouse lived up to the hype of being America’s favorite steakhouse chain, according to one Insider reporter who dubbed the restaurant the “clear winner” in a competition with Outback Steakhouse. According to Pitchbook, the restaurant was also named Employee’s Choice Best Places to Work by Glassdoor.

Throughout his career, Taylor received many accolades, including becoming a member of the Kentucky Business Hall of Fame and being named the 2014 Operator of the Year by Nation’s Restaurant News, Pitchbook said.

He earned his Bachelor of Science from the University of North Carolina, which he attended on a track scholarship. Before founding his restaurant, he worked at KFC, Bennigan’s, and Hooters of America, according to Pitchbook.

Taylor’s successor as CEO will be President Jerry Morgan, the company said, adding that Morgan will be key in helping the business move forward “after such a tragic loss.” Morgan has worked at Texas Roadhouse for 23 years.

Read more: 6 chains that are positioned to survive the restaurant apocalypse sparked by the coronavirus pandemic, according to experts and analysts

In a tweet, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said Taylor was a “maverick entrepreneur who embodied the values of never giving up and putting others first.”

“Louisville lost a much loved and one-of-a-kind citizen with Kent Taylor’s passing today,” Fischer said. “Kent’s kind and generous spirit was his constant driving force whether it was quietly helping a friend or building one of America’s great companies.”

Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell said Taylor didn’t fit the “mold of a big-time CEO.” He built his company taking bold risks and using creativity and grit, McConnell said. But most of all, he cared about his team.

“When the pandemic threw everything into uncertainty last year, there was no question what Kent would do,” McConnell said. “Like always, he put his people first. He dug deep into his own pockets and covered healthcare and bonuses for thousands all while keeping his stores open to make sure workers got paychecks when they needed them most. These were acts of extraordinary leadership that were all very ordinary for Kent.”

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