Longtime GOP senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole dead at 98

Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole died Sunday morning at age 98, his wife’s foundation announced.

“It is with heavy hearts we announce that Senator Robert Joseph Dole died early this morning in his sleep,” the Elizabeth Dole Foundation tweeted. “At his death, at age 98, he had served the United States of America faithfully for 79 years. More information coming soon. #RememberingBobDole”

Dole announced earlier this year that he was being treated for stage 4 lung cancer, which prompted a visit at the time by President Biden to his Washington, D.C., home.

Dole is survived by his wife, former North Carolina GOP Sen. Elizabeth Dole, who is 85.

Dole, the former Kansas senator, was a World War II veteran who lost the use of his right arm on the battlefield in Italy. As former national chairman of the World War II Memorial Commission, he helped raise nearly $200 million for a WWII memorial on the National Mall, which was completed in 2004.

Dole was the Republican Party’s 1996 presidential nominee and had a political career spanning nearly four decades. Former President Bill Clinton presented Dole with the Presidential Medal of Freedom months after winning the election against him.

Former President George W. Bush issued a statement Sunday saying Dole represented “the finest of American values.”

“He defended them in uniform during World War II,” the statement read. “He advanced them in the United States Senate. And he lived them out as a father, husband, and friend. Our entire family benefited from that friendship, including my father. I will always remember Bob’s salute to my late dad at the Capitol, and now we Bushes salute Bob and give thanks for his life of principled service. Laura and I send our heartfelt condolences to Elizabeth and join our fellow citizens in prayer for her comfort.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has ordered the flags at the U.S. Capitol to fly at half-staff in Dole’s honor.

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