America remembers Senator Bob Dole, who died recently at age 98

Bob Dole, Republican from Kansas. 1980’s photo. By Unknown author, Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org

FROM WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

Robert Joseph Dole (July 22, 1923 – December 5, 2021) was an American politician and attorney who represented Kansas in the United States Senate from 1969 to 1996. He was the Republican Leader of the Senate during the final 11 years of his tenure, including three non-consecutive years as Senate Majority Leader. Prior to his 27 years in the Senate, he served in the United States House of Representatives from 1961 to 1969. Dole was also the Republican presidential nominee in the 1996 election and the vice presidential nominee in the 1976 election.

Dole was born and raised in Russell, Kansas, where he established a legal career after serving with distinction in the United States Army during World War II. Following a stint as Russell County Attorney, he won election to the House of Representatives in 1960. In 1968, Dole was elected to the Senate, where he served as chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1971 to 1973 and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee from 1981 to 1985. He led the Senate Republicans from 1985 to his resignation in 1996, and served as Senate Majority Leader from 1985 to 1987 and from 1995 to 1996. In his role as Republican leader, he helped defeat Democratic President Bill Clinton‘s health care plan.

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 sought the Republican presidential nomination in 1980, but quickly dropped out of the race. He experienced more success in the 1988 Republican primaries but was defeated by Vice President George H. W. Bush. Dole won the Republican presidential nomination in 1996 and selected Jack Kemp as his running mate. The Republican ticket lost in the general election to Clinton, making Dole the first unsuccessful major party nominee for both president and vice president. He resigned from the Senate during the 1996 campaign and did not seek public office again after the election.

Dole remained active after retiring from public office. He appeared in numerous commercials and television programs and served on various councils. In 2012, Dole unsuccessfully advocated Senate ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. He initially supported Jeb Bush in the 2016 Republican primaries, but later became the only former Republican presidential nominee to endorse Donald Trump in the general election. Dole was a member of the advisory council of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and special counsel at the Washington, D.C., office of law firm Alston & Bird. Dole was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal on January 17, 2018. He was married to former U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina.

HEALTH AND CAUSE OF DEATH

In February 2021, Dole announced that he had been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, and subsequently underwent immunotherapy, forgoing chemotherapy due to its negative effect on his body. He died from the disease at his home in Washington, D.C., on December 5, 2021, at the age of 98. Following his death, numerous politicians paid tribute to Dole, and President Joe Biden ordered flags be flown at half-staff through December 11, 2021. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that Dole would lay in state at the U.S. Capitol on December 9. He was interred at Arlington National Cemetery.

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