Former Senator, Bob Dole, an iconic figure in US politics, died this Sunday morning at the age of 98, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation announced.
“Senator Robert Joseph Dole passed away early this morning while he was sleeping. At the time of his death, at age 98, he had served America loyally for 79 years”, the foundation wrote in a tweet.
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 pic.twitter.com/57NtGfqtmL
— Elizabeth Dole Foundation (@DoleFoundation) December 5, 2021
Shortly after the announcement of his death by the founding of his wife Elizabeth Dole, President Joe Biden praised an “American statesman unlike any other in our history” a “war hero“, but also a “friend” with a “sense of purpose. of integrity and infallible honor“.
Bob Dole was a man to be admired by Americans. He had an unerring sense of integrity and honor. May God bless him, and may our nation draw upon his legacy of decency, dignity, good humor, and patriotism for all time.
— President Biden (@POTUS) December 5, 2021
In February, Dole was reported to have stage 4 lung cancer, for which he was undergoing treatment. In 1991 he underwent surgery for prostate cancer; 10 years later he was operated on for an abdominal aortic aneurysm; In 2005 he suffered a fall at home that took him to the hospital and four years later he was treated for a leg infection.
He was born in 1923 to a humble family in Kansas. He participated in World War II and returned as a hero, decorated with two Purple Heart medals and two Bronze Star medals.
During an operation in Italy, a Nazi machine gun seized his kidney, shattered his right shoulder and damaged his neck and spine, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down until he partially recovered after years of rehabilitation. He never recovered his right arm and his left had poor mobility.
After the war he became involved in politics in his native Kansas. From there he went to the House of Representatives and was the leader of the Republican Party in the Senate for 11 years during which he led initiatives for war veterans and the disabled.
He ran for vice president with Gerald Ford in 1976. He was elected in the Republican primaries to run for the White House in 1996, and after losing the election to Bill Clinton, he retired from politics and dedicated himself to starring in television commercials for brands such as Viagra and Visa.