MINNEAPOLIS — Eleanor Mondale Poling, the vivacious daughter of former Vice President Walter Mondale who carved out her own reputation as an entertainment reporter, radio show host and gossip magnet, has died at her home in Minnesota. She was 51.
Family spokeswoman Lynda Pedersen said Mrs. Poling died Saturday. She had been diagnosed with brain cancer years earlier.
Mrs. Poling had been off the air at WCCO-AM in Minneapolis since March 19, 2009, when she announced that her brain cancer had returned a second time. She had surgery to remove the tumor Aug. 12, 2009, at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and a posting on her CaringBridge website declared the surgery a success.
Eleanor Mondale, the middle of three children born to Walter and Joan Mondale, stumped for her father in his failed campaign to unseat President Ronald Reagan in 1984.
A striking blonde known on the party circuit when she was younger, she also attracted gossip. Her dalliance with the late rock 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 was married three times. Her last marriage, to Twin Cities rock musician Chan Poling of The Suburbs, happened in 2005, shortly after her cancer was diagnosed. They lived on a farm near Prior Lake, Minn.