Iconic Republican and War Veteran Bob Dole Dead at 98

Bob Dole, an outspoken prairie boy who overcame poverty in Kansas and severe battle wounds in Italy in order to become the Senate majority leader, has passed away at the age of 98. He was also the last generation of World War II veterans to win the nomination for president.

“It is with heavy hearts we announce that Senator Robert Joseph Dole died early this morning in his sleep. At his death, at age 98, he had served the United States of America faithfully for 79 years. More information coming soon. #RememberingBobDole,” the Elizabeth Dole Foundation announced.

As a Republican politician, Dole was among the most enduring political figures of our time. In 1976, he was nominated as vice president and again in 1980 for the presidency. He served a quarter-century as a senator, where he was the longest-serving leader of his party until Mitch McConnell from Kentucky broke that record back in 2018.

Dole had earlier this year told the public that he was suffering from stage 4 lung cancer. His 85-year-old widow, Elizabeth Dole, a former senator from Kansas, is now his survivor.

The durable former soldier was severely wounded in World War II and also suffered several health issues in the past. Dole had prostate cancer surgery done in 1991 and then received an abdominal aortic surgery in 2001. Dole was admitted to hospital in 2005 following a fall at his home and in n 2009, he was diagnosed with a leg infection.

Dole was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by Congress in January 2018. This makes him the eighth senator to receive this prestigious award. It is the highest civilian honor bestowed on Congress.

Politically, Dole was a man who could survive in all seasons. He remained in the party’s top echelons for more than 30 years, even though ideologically he was often at odds with other Republican leaders.

President Biden praised Dole, stating that he was “an American statesman like few in our history. A war hero and among the greatest of the Greatest Generation. 

“To me, he was also a friend whom I could look to for trusted guidance, or a humorous line at just the right moment to settle frayed nerves,” Biden added.

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