WWII Hero And Former Presidential Candidate Bob Dole Has Died

Elizabeth Dole Foundation/Instagram

Former Kansas Senator Bob Dole died in his sleep Sunday at the age of 98.

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation confirmed his death on social media with a statement that read, “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.”

A few hours later, the foundation issued another statement paying tribute to Dole, honoring him as a hero, husband, father and public servant.

“Thank you for the outpouring of love over the last year, it continues to sustain us as we grieve the loss of hte man we knew as husband and father,” the statement begins. “Bob Dole was never only ours — we shared him with Americans from every walk of life and every political persuasion.”

The post praises Dole for never forgetting his roots, saying: “He embodied the integrity, humor, compassion and unbounded work ethic of the wide open plains of his youth. He was a voice for pragmatic conservatism, and it was that unique Kansas combination of attributes and values that made him such a giant of the Senate.”

Senator Dole shared in February that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and said he was starting treatment.

Many of Bob Dole’s fellow politicians issued statements following his death, including President Joe Biden and former President Bill Clinton.

“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 wrote.

Bill Clinton wrote, “Bob Dole dedicated his entire life to serving the American people, from his heroism in World War II to the 35 years he spent in Congress. 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.”

Bob Dole grew up with aspirations of becoming a doctor, but was forced to change his career goals after suffering injuries in World War II that nearly killed him and left him permanently disabled.

Dole joined the Army in 1942 and three years later was caught in machine gun fire while attempting to rescue an army radioman. He suffered a shattered right shoulder and damage to his neck and spine that left him temporarily paralyzed from the neck down. His heroic actions earned him two Purple Hearts and two awards of the Bronze Star.

Senator Dole’s arms never fully recovered, with his right arm remaining paralyzed and his left partially paralyzed for the rest of his life.

Upon returning from the war, Dole entered the political arena, first winning a Republican seat in the Kansas state Legislature. He received a law degree and became a county attorney for Russell County, prior to winning an election for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1960. He later served in the Senate from 1969 to 1996.

Dole’s political resume includes being the top-ranking Republican in the Senate for nearly 11 years, acting as President Gerald Ford’s running mate in 1976, being honored as a recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal in January 2018, becoming only the 8th Senator to receive it.

Bob Dole is survived by his wife Elizabeth Dole and his daughter, Robin.

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