Former US senator and GOP presidential nominee Bob Dole has died at 98

Bob Dole, the former US senator and Republican presidential nominee, died on Sunday at the age of 98.

He is survived by his wife and daughter.

In February of 2021, Dole announced that he had been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer and would soon begin treatment. Dole said in a statement that he joined millions of Americans who face significant health challenges of their own.

Dole rose from humble beginnings in Russell, Kansas, to become one of the longest-serving Republican Senate leaders in history.

He was awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his service in World War II. He was badly wounded in Italy in 1945 by German fire, which left him with limited mobility in his right arm.

Dole ran for president multiple times before becoming the GOP nominee in 1996, but lost to Bill Clinton.

He was described as "one of the last living reminders of an era in Washington when bipartisan cooperation on big issues like Social Security and civil rights was common, and the blood sport of politics was set aside at the end of the day in favor of a shared glass or two."

Early life.

Dole was born on July 22, 1923.

Dole was in high school when his father ran a creamery and he worked at a drugstore. Dole had always been serious and had always been working, according to Richard Ben Cramer. He worked at the drugstore on Saturdays and after school.

Dole was an athlete. Cramer's book states that he was voted "Ideal Boy" his senior year, after running track and playing football.

Dole was a pre-med student at the University of Kansas. He continued his athletic career there and joined a frat.

There was service in World War II.

Bob Dole enlisted in the United States Army after two years at The University of Kansas.


World War II interrupted Dole's college career. He joined the Army Enlisted Reserve Corps while he was still in school.

He attended Army Engineering School in New York and then was sent to Fort Breckenridge in Kentucky to become an antitank gunner. He was deployed to Italy at the end of 1944 after applying for officer training.

Dole was a lieutenant in the 10th Mountain Division after joining the 85th Mountain Regiment, Third Battalion.

Dole was hit while dragging his radioman to cover when his platoon was pinned down by German fire on April 14, 1945.

Dole said in a campaign video that he fractured his neck and shoulder when he was hit by a bullet. I saw the things racing at my house. I couldn't move my arms or legs.

Dole was not expected to survive his injuries, but he recovered after years of rehabilitation, and was left with limited mobility in his right arm. He hid his injury by holding a pen or paper in his hand.

Dole met an occupational therapist at an Officers' Club dance and married her. They had one daughter and later divorced.

Dole was awarded a Bronze Star for his actions.

Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole spoke to reporters at the Capitol in Washington.

AP Photo/Charles Tasnadi

Congressional career.

Dole began his political career in 1950. He was a law student when he ran for the Kansas House of Representatives as a Republican.

He became a prosecuting attorney. He was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1960 and served four terms before becoming a senator in 1968. He became chairman of the Republican National Committee in 1971.

bipartisan legislation on the federal food stamp program is one of Dole's accomplishments. He was a political "hatchet man." CNN has referred to Dole as the quintessential Washington insider, and he has an "eye for the jugular."

Dole was in the Senate for 27 years and in the House for eight years.

The Congressional Gold medal is the highest civilian award Congress can give, and it was given to Dole in January. He is the eighth senator to receive the medal.

Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole raises his arm with Sen. Arlen Specter at a rally.

AP Photo/Chris Gardner

Presidential ambitions.

Dole tried for the presidency four times. He ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 1980 but lost to Ronald Reagan. He lost to George H.W. Bush in the 1988 race for the nomination.

Dole won the Republican presidential nomination in 1996, while he was the Senate majority leader. He ran against Clinton.

Dole gave up his seat in the Senate to run. Dole's 1996 presidential campaign was called one of the most ineffectual by the New York Times.

The Times wrote that Mr. Dole was always the legislative tactician and that he believed the key to victory was a clever endgame strategy. The polls were so bad that Mr. Dole was forced to realize that the end result wouldn't be enough.

The Times reported that Dole was upset about the bungled attempt to win Ross Perot's endorsement. He was confused by the states he had been sent to. He was not happy with the advertisements. He believed that the presidency was about to escape him again.

Clinton ended Dole's political career after he lost the race.

Dole told The Washington Post after his election loss that people were urging him to be a hatchet man against Clinton. I didn't see the point. You might look for more friends after the partisan fights. When you're out of politics, you have more credibility with the other side.

Bob Dole stood up from his wheelchair and saluted the flag-draped casket of George H.W. Bush.

Drew Angerer is a photographer.

The salute.

Dole stood up from his wheelchair to salute his one-time political rival, former President George H.W. Bush, at Bush's funeral, an emotional, powerful moment, particularly given the history the two men share.

Bush and Dole both served in World War II. Dole saluted with his left hand because of the injuries he sustained during the war that affected his mobility in his right.

One of Dole's final gestures was to set political rivalries aside in favor of civility.