Former U.S. senator and Republican presidential and vice presidential candidate Bob Dole died on Sunday at 98 years old. The Elizabeth Dole Foundation, named after his wife, announced that Dole died in his sleep early Sunday morning. A cause of death was not immediately revealed, however, Dole announced in February that he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer and would undergo treatment. The statement from the Elizabeth Dole Foundation read: ““It is with heavy hearts we announce that Senator Robert Joseph Dole died early this morning in his sleep,” adding, “At his death, at age 98, he had served the United States of America faithfully for 79 years.”
Dole served in the U.S. Army during World War II and survived serious injuries in battle in Italy. He earned two Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars for valor during his service. He served in the U.S. House as a representative from Kansas between 1961 and 1969. He was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1968 and represented Kansas in the Senate for 27 years, the last 11 as the Republican leader.
In 1976, Dole was the vice presidential nominee on the Republican ticket with incumbent President Gerald Ford; they ultimately lost in the general election to Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale. Dole then resigned from the Senate in 1996 to make a bid for President, ultimately losing to incumbent President Bill Clinton. Following his Presidential run, Dole began serving as special counsel with the law firm Alston and Bird in Washington and was appointed by then-President George W. Bush to co-head a bipartisan commission that delivered suggestions on improving the military’s health care system in 2008. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Clinton in 1997 and received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2018.
Dole is survived by his wife, former Sen. Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, and daughter Robin Dole.
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