Bob Dole, who overcame difficult battle wounds from World War II to become a prominent figure in American politics as a longtime Republican senator from Kansas and his party’s failed presidential candidate in 1996, has died, aged 98.
- The former US presidential candidate suffered from lung cancer and died in his sleep
- He ran for president three times but lost to Democratic incumbent Bill Clinton in 1996
- He was instrumental in enacting laws in the United States that prohibited discrimination on the grounds of disability
Sir. Dole, known for a wit that ranged from self-ironic to caustic, died in her sleep, said the Elizabeth Dole Foundation.
Sir. Dole had previously announced in February that he had been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and would begin treatment.
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce that Senator Robert Joseph Dole died early this morning,” the foundation said in a statement on Twitter.
“He had served the United States faithfully for 79 years.”
From humble beginnings to war heroes
Sir. Dole, known for referring to himself in the third person, made a classic American journey from poverty during the Great Depression of the 1930s, through World War II battlefields to the corridors of power with a stoic Midwestern dignity.
He was born on July 22, 1923, one of four children of a grain elevator manager and a traveling salesman in Russell, Kansas.
As a lieutenant in the U.S. Army during World War II, Mr. Dole led an attack on a German machine gun in Italy. A grenade destroyed his right shoulder, paralyzed his right arm, broke vertebrae, filled his body with shrapnel and cost him a kidney.
After permanently losing the use of his right arm, he later became an advocate for the disabled.
Embellished for heroism, Dole spent 39 months in hospitals before returning to civilian life.
He went to law school, unable to write, but got through with the help of his first wife, Phyllis, who transcribed class lectures he recorded. Sir. Dole had a daughter, Robin, from her first marriage.
His political career reached the penultimate heights
He represented Kansas in Congress for 35 years: 1961 to 1969 in the House of Representatives and 1969 to 1996 in the Senate and was Senate Majority Leader in the 1980s.
He was instrumental in the enactment of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibited discrimination based on disability in employment, public housing, and transportation.
Sir. Dole was his party’s vice presidential candidate in 1976 on a ticket led by incumbent President Gerald Ford, but they lost to Democrat Jimmy Carter and his deputy Comrade Walter Mondale.
Sir. Dole ran for president three times and was a Republican candidate in 1996.
He defeated rivals, including conservative commentator Pat Buchanan, to secure the Republican presidential candidate, but at age 73, he lost to Bill Clinton, 50 at the time, a charismatic embodiment of the post-war baby boom that had already survived accusations of infidelity. and infidelity. evasion of military draft.
In 1997, Mr. Clinton Mr. Dole Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
In 2018, he received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor Congress can bestow.
He became involved in the 2016 Republican presidential campaign by supporting Jeb Bush and joining his campaign.
After Mr. Bush dropped out, Mr. Dole supported the eventual winner Donald Trump. Former Dole adviser Paul Manafort served as Trump’s campaign chairman. In 2017, Mr Dole praised Mr Trump for having “immensely helped restore our position as leader of the free world”.