| Bob Dole |
|Born||Robert Joseph Dole|
July 22, 1923
Russell, Kansas, U.S.
|Died||December 5, 2021 (Age 98)|
|Alma mater||University of Kansas (Lawrence), University of Arizona|
|Member of||Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation|
|Interest of||Stanley Hilton|
US Republican politician and presidential candidate
Robert Joseph Dole 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 nonconsecutive 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.
In his congressional career, which extended from 1961 to 1996, Dole, a pro-corporate fiscal conservative, opposed nearly all social welfare spending. He was a fervent Cold War anti-communist, a warmonger in Vietnam, Central America and the Persian Gulf, and later, while out of office, a supporter of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
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. In his early years in there, he was such a harsh defender of the Nixon administration that a fellow Republican senator criticized him as a “hatchet man.” Nixon named him chairman of the Republican National Committee in 1971, only replacing him after the Watergate scandal exploded, and he needed a party operative who could function as a full-time apologist.
He was 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.
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. 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.. He was married to former U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina.