In a statement released by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, it was announced longtime Republican Kansas senator, Bob Dole, died Sunday morning. The statement said, “It is with heavy hearts we announce that Senator Robert Joseph Dole died earlier this morning in his sleep. At his death at 98 he had served the United States of America faithfully for 79 years.” Dole had said in late February that he had developed advanced lung cancer and would be beginning treatment.
Dole left college in order to serve in World War II where he suffered serious injuries that caused him to lose movement in his right arm and win a medal for his bravery. During his time in office, Dole served as a Republican power-broker and Kansas representative in the House from 1961-1969, then worked in the Senate until 1996. Throughout those years, Dole served as Senate majority and minority leader, as well as leader of the Republican party. Dole would go on to be the vice presidential nominee to Gerald Ford in 1976 before running on the ticket by himself in 1980 and 1988. He finally won the Republican nomination in 1996 at 73 against Bill Clinton. In 2018, Dole became the 8th US Senator to receive the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor for a US citizen to receive.
Many politicians, both Democrat and Republican, have expressed their condolences and sympathies upon Dole’s death. President Joe Biden released a statement saying, “Though we often disagreed, he never hesitated to work with me or other democrats when it mattered most.” Biden also described Dole as “a friend whom I could look to for trusted guidance, or a humorous line at just the right moment to settle frayed nerves.” Former president Donald Trump called Dole “an American war hero and true patriot of our nation,” and former president Bill Clinton, who Dole ran against in 1996, spoke of him saying, “After all he gave in the war, he didn’t have to give more. But he did. His example should inspire people today and for generations to come.”
In a proclamation released by the White House, they ordered all flags at public facilities and buildings to lower flags to half-staff in honor of Bob Dole.