Former Republican Senator Bob Dole died at the age of 98 Sunday morning
Former Republican Senator Bob Dole died at the age of 98 Sunday morning.
‘It is with heavy hearts we announce that Senator Robert Joseph Dole died early this morning in his sleep,’ the Elizabeth Dole Foundation tweeted on Sunday.
‘At his death, at age 98, he had served the United States of America faithfully for 79 years. More information coming soon,’ the statement continues.
In February 2021, Dole announced he was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer and in July 2021 was receiving immunotherapy to treat the disease, forgoing chemotherapy due to its negative effect on his body.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered flags at the U.S. Capitol to be flown at half-staff upon the news of Dole’s death.
Dole served in the Senate for 27 years and was the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, losing to incumbent Bill Clinton.
Before that, President Gerald Ford chose Dole as his running mate in the 1976 election after Vice President Nelson Rockefeller withdrew from seeking a full term. Ford was defeated by Democrat Jimmy Carter in the general election.
Dole also sought the Republican presidential nomination in 1980, but quickly dropped out of the race he was also defeated in the 1988 Republican primaries by Vice President George H. W. Bush.
He represented Kansas in the Senate and during the final 11 years of his tenure served as the Republican Leader of the upper chamber, which included three nonconsecutive years as Senate Majority Leader.
First entering politics as a member of the Kansas House of Representatives in 1951, Dole then served as a County Attorney there before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Dole leaves behind his wife Elizabeth, 85, and daughter Robin, 67.
The Elizabeth Dole Foundation announced Dole’s death on Twitter Sunday morning and said ‘more information coming soon’
Dole served in World War II as part of the Army reserves. He was deployed to Italy as a second lieutenant in 1944 where he was nearly killed by a German explosive during combat in the mountainous Apennine region
Dole (pictured center with late Arizona Senator John McCain and wife Elizabeth when running for president in 1996) also served in the U.S. Senate for 27 years representing Kansas and made three unsuccessful runs for president
Dole leave behind his wife Elizabeth, 85. The two are pictured here on January 17, 2018 as Dole was honored with the Congressional Gold Medal at the Capitol
Dole also leaves behind his daughter Robin, 67
Dole (left) and his daughter Robin (center) arrive at a campaign rally in Albuquerque, New Mexico when Dole was running for president
Dole announced in February 2021 that he was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. On December 4, 2018, Dole stands and salutes the casket of H.W. Bush as it lied in state at the Capitol
He was admittedly a ‘Trumper.’
In Trump’s 2016 run for president, Dole was one of the few elders of the traditional Republican establishment to endorse him and was the only former presidential nominee to attend the convention that nominated Trump.
He did, however, say there was no question that Trump lost his reelection race in 2020.
‘He lost the election, and I regret that he did, but they did,’ Dole said. ‘He had Rudy Giuliani running all over the country, claiming fraud. He never had one bit of fraud in all those lawsuits he filed and statements he made.’
‘I’m a Trumper,’ Dole told USA Today, claiming also: ‘I’m sort of Trumped out, though.’
Born in Russell, Kansas in 1923, Dole joined thousands of young men in his time by signing up to fight in World War II as part of the Army reserves.
He was deployed to Italy as a second lieutenant in 1944 where he was nearly killed by a German explosive during combat in the mountainous Apennine region.
In 1945 Dole led the assault near Castel D’Aiano and was struck just as he was helping a fallen soldier.
‘As the mortar round, exploding shell, or machine gun blast – whatever its was, I’ll never know – ripped into my body, I recoiled, lifted off the ground a bit, twisted in the air, and fell face down in the dirt,’ Dole recounted in his autobiography One Soldier’s Story.
Dole was also defeated in the 1988 Republican primaries by then-Vice President George H. W. Bush (right). The two are pictured together during Dole’s 1996 run for president
Dole was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Bill Clinton on January 17, 1997
He waited an agonizing nine hours before medics could evacuate him to a local field hospital.
Once back home Dole was forced to undergo multiple surgeries and three years of rehabilitation, and never fully regained function in his right arm, only able to move his fingers. For the rest of his public life he carried a pen in that hand to make it appear more normal and deter people from shaking hands with him on that side.
But Dole had said in past interviews it was the injury and the possibility of facing a life where it consumed him that helped push him into politics.
‘In moments of self-pity, I saw myself going through life unmarried, selling pencils on street corners and living off a disability pension,’ he told The Topeka-Capital Journal in a past interview, adding that his doctor ‘In moments of self-pity, I saw myself going through life unmarried, selling pencils on street corners and living off a disability pension.’
It also turned him into a disability rights advocate, starting the Dole Foundation in 1983 to support people living with disabilities and was a key advocate for 1990’s landmark Americans with Disabilities Act.
Tips to Find Low Priced Luxury Holiday Package Deals Fast