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Eleanor Mondale Poling, ex-VP's child, dies

MINNEAPOLIS -- Eleanor Mondale Poling, 51, daughter of former Vice President Walter Mondale, died at her Minnesota home early Saturday after a six-year battle with brain cancer.

Mondale, an entertainment reporter and radio show host, died in her sleep with her husband and dogs at her side, according to a statement posted on her journal page at the website CaringBridge.org.

"Early Saturday morning . . . our dearest sweet Eleanor passed away from this world," the journal entry said. "Eleanor Mondale Poling lived bravely, without regret or fear, with such amazing strength and grace, for 6 years after being diagnosed with brain cancer in 2005."

Mondale was the daughter of Joan and Walter Mondale; her father was vice president under president Jimmy Carter. She also was the ex-wife of former pro football player Keith Van Horne.

Married two more times, Mondale in 2005 wed Minneapolis musician Chan Poling.

She was a graduate of St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y. Her career included minor acting roles on television shows and stints as a TV news reporter. She had bit parts in TV's "Three's Company" and "Dynasty."

A striking blonde known on the party circuit when she was younger, Mondale's dalliance with musician Warren Zevon was detailed in "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon," a posthumous biography published by Zevon's ex-wife in 2007.

She got her start in broadcasting at WCCO-TV in Minneapolis in 1989 but left after eight months when a magazine was about to publish an article called "Walter and Joan's Wild Child."

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton released a statement mourning Mondale's death. "Eleanor transformed -- and transcended! -- into a very beautiful, poised, multi-talented, and accomplished woman," he said. "She loved her family, friends, and animals, as she loved life."

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