Mr. Dole, a kid of the Kansas prairie that was left for dead ~ above a people War II battlefield, became one that the longest-serving Republican leaders.

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Bob Dole in 1996. He to be the last of the people War II generation to win the Republican nomination for president.Credit...Stephen Crowley/The new York Times

Bob Dole, the plain-spoken son of the prairie who overcame Dust bowl deprivation in Kansas and also grievous battle wounds in Italy to end up being the Senate majority leader and also the last of the human being War II generation to victory his party’s nomination for president, died on Sunday. He was 98.

His death was announced by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation.

It did not say where he died. He had actually announced in February the he had Stage IV lung cancer and also that the was start treatment.

A Republican, Mr. Dole was among the most sturdy political figures in the last years of the critical century. He was nominated because that vice president in 1976 and also then for president a full 20 years later. He spent a quarter-century in the Senate, wherein he to be his party’s longest-serving leader till Mitch McConnell that Kentucky exceeded that document in June 2018.

President Biden referred to as Mr. Dole “an American statesman like couple of in our history. A war hero and among the biggest of the biggest Generation.” that added, “To me, the was likewise a friend whom I could look to for trusted guidance, or a humorous heat at just the right moment to settle frayed nerves.”


As the old soldiers of world War II faded away, Mr. Dole, who had been a sublieutenant in the Army’s storied 10th Mountain division and to be wounded so severely on a battlefield the he was left for dead, pertained to personify the resilience the his generation. In his post-political career, he specialized himself to increasing money because that the world War II Memorial in Washington and spent weekends over there welcoming visiting veterans.

In one of his critical public appearances, in December 2018, he joined the line at the Capitol Rotunda whereby the body of previous President George H.W. Bush, one erstwhile politics rival and fellow veteran, put in state. Together an aide assisted him increase from his wheelchair, Mr. Dole, utilizing his left hand due to the fact that his right had been rendered useless by the war, saluted the flag-draped coffin the the last president to have actually served in people War II.


Politically, Mr. Dole to be a man for all seasons, making it through for much more than three decades in his party’s upper echelons, even though he was occasionally at odds ideologically with other Republican leaders.

He was nationwide Republican chairman under chairman Richard M. Nixon in the at an early stage 1970s; the running mate to chairman Gerald R. Ford in 1976; chairman of the Senate Finance Committee throughout Ronald Reagan’s presidency in the 1980s; and presidential standard-bearer throughout Newt Gingrich’s “revolution” the the mid-1990s, as soon as the Republicans captured the residence for the an initial time in 40 years and also upended the power dynamic ~ above Capitol Hill.


More recently, Mr. Dole, almost alone amongst his party’s old guard, endorsed Donald J. Trump for president in 2016, after his preferred candidates had fallen through the wayside. Top top the eve of his 93rd birthday, he to be the only previous Republican presidential nominee to appear at the party’s convention in Cleveland, wherein Mr. Trump was nominated.

Mr. Dole self ran three times for the White House and also finally winner the nomination in 1996, only to shed to President invoice Clinton after ~ a historically devastating campaign. The had provided up his secure write-up in the Senate to seek the presidency, although, as he acknowledged, the was much more suited to the Senate.

As the Republican leader, he helped broker compromises that shaped much of the nation’s domestic and also foreign policies.

He was most proud of help to rescue Social defense in 1983, of pushing the landmark Americans v Disabilities act of 1990 and of mustering a majority of reluctant Republicans to assistance Mr. Clinton’s unpopular setup to send American troops come Bosnia in 1995. (Mr. Dole was not wild about the deployment either, but he long believed that a president, of one of two people party, should be supported as soon as he determined something as essential as committing troops abroad.)

A expert legislative mechanic, Mr. Dole understood what every senator wanted and what each can live with, and he delighted in the art of political bartering.

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He was so at house in the Senate’s marble corridors that throughout his critical campaign, in 1996, he constantly had actually to remind voter that he was “not born in a blue suit” — Dole shorthand for saying that he had a life before showing up in Washington in 1961. In fact, he had actually been shame profoundly by the pair experiences of growing up poor in Depression-era Kansas and also enduring the shattering wounds of war.