110 Facts About Bob Dole


Robert Joseph Dole was an American politician and attorney who represented Kansas in the United States Senate from 1969 to 1996.


Bob Dole was the Republican Leader of the Senate during the final 11 years of his tenure, including three non-consecutive years as Senate Majority Leader.


Bob Dole was the Republican presidential nominee in the 1996 election and the vice presidential nominee in the 1976 election.


Bob 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.


In 1968, Bob Dole was elected to the Senate, where he served as chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1971 to 1973 and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee from 1981 to 1985.


Bob Dole 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.


Bob Dole sought the Republican presidential nomination in 1980, but quickly dropped out of the race.


Bob Dole won the Republican presidential nomination in 1996 and selected Jack Kemp as his running mate.


Bob Dole resigned from the Senate during the 1996 campaign and did not seek public office again after the election.


Bob Dole appeared in numerous commercials and television programs and served on various councils.


In 2012, Bob Dole unsuccessfully advocated Senate ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.


Bob Dole 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.


Bob Dole was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal on January 17,2018.


Bob Dole was married to former US Senator Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina.


Bob Dole's father, who had moved the family to Russell shortly before Robert was born, earned money by running a small creamery.


Bob Dole graduated from Russell High School in the spring of 1941 and enrolled at the University of Kansas the following fall.


Bob Dole had been a star high school athlete in Russell, and Kansas basketball coach Phog Allen traveled to Russell to recruit him to play for the Jayhawks basketball team.


Bob Dole attended the University of Arizona in Tucson from 1948 to 1949, before transferring to Washburn University in Topeka, where he graduated with both undergraduate and law degrees in 1952.


Bob Dole joined the United States Army's Enlisted Reserve Corps in 1942 to fight in World War II, becoming a second lieutenant in the Army's 10th Mountain Division.


Bob Dole was paralyzed from the neck down and transported to a military hospital near Kansas.


Bob Dole remained despondent, "not ready to accept the fact that my life would be changed forever".


Bob Dole was encouraged to see Hampar Kelikian, an orthopedist in Chicago who had been working with veterans returning from war.


Bob Dole recovered from his wounds at the Percy Jones Army Hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan.


Bob Dole was decorated three times, receiving two Purple Hearts for his injuries, and the Bronze Star with "V" Device for valor for his attempt to assist a downed radioman.


Bob Dole minimized the effect in public by keeping a pen in his right hand, and learned to write with his left hand.


Bob Dole ran for office for the first time in 1950 and was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives, serving a two-year term.


Bob Dole became the County Attorney of Russell County in 1953.


Bob Dole was elected to the United States House of Representatives from Kansas's 6th congressional district in 1960.


Bob Dole was elected from this merged district in 1962 and was re-elected two more times.


In 1968, Dole defeated former Kansas Governor William H Avery for the Republican nomination for the United States Senate to succeed retiring Senator Frank Carlson.


Bob Dole subsequently won the seat in the general election.


Bob Dole was re-elected in 1974,1980,1986, and 1992, before resigning on June 11,1996, to focus on his presidential campaign.


Bob Dole was appointed chair of the Republican National Committee the next year.


Over time in the Senate, Bob Dole was seen by some as having a moderate voting record.


Bob Dole served on congressional agriculture committees throughout the course of his political career, and became the Republican Party's chief spokesman on farm policy and nutrition issues in the Senate.


When Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980, Bob Dole held the chairmanship of the Senate Agriculture Committee's Nutrition Subcommittee and the Senate Finance Committee.


Together with McGovern, Bob Dole spearheaded the elimination of the purchase requirement to receive food stamp benefits and the simplification of eligibility requirements.


Bob Dole became Senate Majority leader in 1985 initially serving in that position for two years.


Democrats took control of the Senate following the 1986 United States Senate elections, and Bob Dole became Senate Minority Leader for the next eight years.


Bob Dole was a major supporter and advocate of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.


The Republicans took control of both the Senate and House of Representatives in the 1994 mid-term elections, due to the fallout from President Bill Clinton's policies including his health care plan, and Bob Dole became Senate Majority Leader for the second time.


In particular, Gingrich and Bob Dole had a tense working relationship as they were potential rivals for the 1996 Republican nomination.


From 1992 to 1996, Bob Dole played a major role in mobilizing support for Bosnia in the Senate, and pressuring the Clinton administration and NATO to resolve the war there.


In 1996, Bob Dole was the first sitting Senate Party Leader to receive his party's nomination for president.


Bob Dole hoped to use his long experience in Senate procedures to maximize publicity from his rare positioning as Senate Majority Leader against an incumbent president but was stymied by Senate Democrats.


Bob Dole resigned his seat on June 11,1996, to focus on the campaign, saying he had "nowhere to go but the White House or home".


Bob Dole ran unsuccessfully for vice president on a ticket headed by President Gerald Ford in 1976.


Bob Dole ran for the 1980 Republican presidential nomination, eventually won by Ronald Reagan.


Bob Dole made another attempt for the Republican presidential nomination in 1988, formally announcing his candidacy in his hometown of Russell, Kansas, on November 9,1987.


At the ceremony, Bob Dole was presented by the VFW with a cigar box, similar to the one he had used to collect donations for his war-related medical expenses, containing more than $7,000 in campaign donations.


Bob Dole was expected to win the nomination against underdog candidates such as the more conservative Senator Phil Gramm of Texas and more moderate Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.


Bob Dole eventually won the nomination, becoming the oldest first-time presidential nominee at the age of 73 years, 1 month.


Bob Dole was going to risk it all for the White House.


Bob Dole found himself criticized from both the left and the right within the Republican Party over the convention platform, one of the major issues being the inclusion of the Human Life Amendment.


Bob Dole lost, as pundits had long expected, to incumbent President Bill Clinton in the 1996 election.


Bob Dole is the last World War II veteran to have been the presidential nominee of a major party.


The 1996 presidential election, despite ending in a loss, opened up numerous opportunities for Bob Dole owing in part to his sense of humor.


Bob Dole engaged in a career of writing, consulting, public speaking, and television appearances.


Bob Dole was the first defeated presidential nominee to become a political celebrity.


In November 1996, Bob Dole appeared on Late Show with David Letterman and made a cameo appearance on Saturday Night Live, parodying himself.


Bob Dole guest-starred as himself on NBC's Brooke Shields sitcom Suddenly Susan in January 1997.


Bob Dole became a television commercial spokesman for such products as Viagra, Visa, Dunkin' Donuts, and Pepsi-Cola.


Bob Dole was an occasional political commentator on the interview program Larry King Live, and was a guest a number of times on Comedy Central's satirical news program, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.


Bob Dole was, for a short time in 2003, a commentator opposite Bill Clinton on CBS's 60 Minutes.


Bob Dole was head of the Federal City Council, a group of business, civic, education, and other leaders interested in economic development in Washington, DC, from 1998 to 2002.


Bob Dole served as national chairman of the World War II Memorial Campaign, which raised funds for the building of the National World War II Memorial.


Bob Dole's legacy includes a commitment to combating hunger, both in the United States and around the globe.


Bob Dole offered the inaugural lecture to dedicate the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service on September 18,2004.


Bob Dole gave the 2008 Vance Distinguished Lecture at Central Connecticut State University.


Bob Dole wrote several books, including one on jokes told by the presidents of the United States, in which he ranks the presidents according to their level of humor.


Bob Dole released his autobiography, One Soldier's Story: A Memoir, on April 12,2005.


That same year, Bob Dole joined fellow former Senate majority leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, and George Mitchell to found the Bipartisan Policy Center, a non-profit think-tank that works to develop policies suitable for bipartisan support.


Bob Dole served as a director for the Asia Universal Bank, a bank domiciled in Kyrgyzstan during the discredited Kurmanbek Bakiyev presidential regime which was shut down owing to its involvement in money laundering.


Bob Dole issued a letter critical of Newt Gingrich, focusing on Bob Dole and Gingrich's time working together on Capitol Hill, on January 26,2012.


Bob Dole cited the association made between himself and Gingrich as fellow Congressional leaders in Democratic advertisements as a key factor for his 1996 presidential defeat.


Bob Dole appeared on the Senate floor to advocate ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on December 4,2012.


Bob Dole began a reunion tour of his home state of Kansas in early 2014, seeking to visit each of the state's 105 counties.


Bob Dole endorsed and campaigned for incumbent Kansas Senator Pat Roberts during the latter's 2014 re-election bid.


In 2015, Bob Dole endorsed former Florida governor Jeb Bush in his presidential campaign.


Bob Dole had attended every GOP convention since 1964, and did not consider skipping the 2016 edition even though Trump's politics were closer to that of Bob Dole's 1996 primary rival Pat Buchanan.


Former Bob Dole advisers, including Paul Manafort, played a major role in Trump's presidential campaign.


In February 2016 Bob Dole donated $20,000 to help pay for a camp for children with cancer in central Kansas.


Bob Dole was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for his service to the nation as a "soldier, legislator and statesman" in January 2018.


Bob Dole expressed concern the Commission on Presidential Debates were biased against President Trump and his reelection campaign in a public statement on October 9,2020, saying how he knew all the Republicans on the commission and feared that "none of them support[ed]" the president.


Bob Dole never had one bit of fraud in all those lawsuits he filed and statements he made.


Bob Dole was presented with the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Ronald Reagan on January 18,1989.


Senator Bob Dole was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton on January 17,1997, for service to his country in the military and in his political career.


Bob Dole received the US Senator John Heinz Award for Greatest Public Service by an Elected or Appointed Official, an award given out annually by Jefferson Awards, in 1997.


Bob Dole was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for his service to the nation as a "soldier, legislator and statesman" on January 17,2018.


Bob Dole married Phyllis Holden, an occupational therapist at a veterans hospital, in Battle Creek, Michigan, in 1948, three months after they met.


Bob Dole was a Freemason and a member of Russell Lodge No 177, Russell, Kansas.


In 1975, Bob Dole was elevated to the 33rd degree of the Scottish Rite.


Bob Dole often referred to himself in the third person in conversation.


That's not something Bob Dole has ever done, or that Bob Dole will ever do.


Bob Dole later spoke before Congress and on public service announcements about early detection of the disease and the erectile dysfunction that resulted from his surgery.


Bob Dole starred in a parody of his Viagra commercials for "the little blue can" of Pepsi.


Bob Dole underwent a hip replacement operation that required him to receive blood thinners in December 2004.


Bob Dole spent 40 days at Walter Reed Army Medical Center; upon his release, his stronger left arm was of limited use.


Bob Dole told a reporter that he needed help to handle the simplest of tasks, since both of his arms were of limited use.


Bob Dole continued to go to Walter Reed several times a week for occupational therapy for his left shoulder.


In 2009, Bob Dole was hospitalized for an elevated heart rate and sore legs for which he underwent a successful skin graft procedure.


Bob Dole was hospitalized with pneumonia in February 2010 after undergoing knee surgery.


Bob Dole spent ten months at Walter Reed Army Medical Center recovering from the surgery and experienced three bouts with pneumonia.


Bob Dole was released from the hospital in November 2010.


Bob Dole was readmitted to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in January 2011 and spent about six days there being treated for a fever and a minor infection.


Bob Dole was hospitalized in November 2012 at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, according to then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.


Bob Dole was hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for low blood pressure on September 13,2017.


In February 2021, Bob Dole announced that he had been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, and subsequently underwent immunotherapy, forgoing chemotherapy due to its negative effect on his body.


Bob Dole died of complications from the disease in his sleep at his home in Washington, DC, on the morning of December 5,2021, at the age of 98.


President Biden issued an order for flags to be flown at half-staff through December 11,2021, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announcing that Bob Dole would lay in state at the US Capitol on December 9.