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Bob Dole Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here is a look at the life of former US Senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole.


Birth date: July 22, 1923

Death date: December 5, 2021

Birth place: Russell, Kansas

Birth name: Robert Joseph Dole

Father: Doran Ray Dole, grain elevator and produce station operator

Mother: Bina (Talbott) Dole

Marriages: Elizabeth (Hanford) Dole (December 7, 1975-December 5, 2021, his death); Phyllis (Holden) Dole (1948-1972, divorced)

Children: with Phyllis Holden: Robin (1954)

Education: Attended University of Kansas, 1941-1943; University of Arizona, 1948-1949; Washburn Municipal University, BA and LLB, 1952

Military: US Army, Captain; US Army, Honorary Colonel

Religion: Methodist

Other Facts

Awarded two Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars with an oak leaf cluster.

Dole served as a spokesman for men’s health issues including prostate exams and impotence.

Dole served as Chairman of the International Commission on Missing Persons and the Chairman of the National World War II Memorial fundraising campaign.


1945 – Seriously wounded during a World War II battle in Italy. He spends the following three years recovering from injuries that leave his right arm permanently disabled and his left arm minimally functional.

1951-1953 Serves in the Kansas House of Representatives.

1953-1961 – Serves as Russell County prosecutor.

1961-1969 – Serves in the US House of Representatives (R-Kansas).

1964 – Votes for the Civil Rights Act.

1969-1996 – US senator from Kansas.

1976 – Vice presidential running mate to President Gerald Ford. They lose to Democrats Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale.

1980 Runs for president but does not receive the Republican Party nomination.

1985-1987 – Serves as Senate majority leader and chairman of Senate Finance Committee.

1988 Runs for president but does not receive the Republican Party nomination.

1991 Undergoes surgery for prostate cancer.

1995-1996 – Serves as Senate majority leader and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

April 10, 1995 – Dole formally announces that he is running for president against incumbent President Bill Clinton.

June 1996 Resigns from the Senate to concentrate on the presidential campaign.

August 15, 1996 – Dole accepts the Republican Party nomination.

November 1996 Loses to Clinton, receiving 159 of 538 of the Electoral College votes and 41% of the popular vote.

January 17, 1997 – Receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Clinton.

2001 Undergoes successful abdominal aortic aneurysm surgery.

2003-2021 – Special counsel with the Washington office of the law firm Alston & Bird.

July 22, 2003 – Dole is honored at the dedication of the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas.

January 2005 – Falls at home and suffers serious injuries that require hospitalization for more than a month.

April 12, 2005 – His book, “One Soldier’s Story: A Memoir,” is published.

March 6, 2007 Dole is named by President George W. Bush to co-head a bipartisan commission investigating problems at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The nine-member commission is tasked with delivering suggestions for improving the military’s health care system.

October 2008 – Dole wins the 2008 World Food Prize. He and former US Senator George McGovern are honored for creating the McGovern-Dole school feeding program in 2000, which provides children with meals in 41 countries.

July 2009 – According to a statement released by Dole’s press office, has surgery to treat a serious leg infection.

April 12, 2011 Is honored at a plaque dedication ceremony at the World War II Memorial in Washington.

March 22, 2012 Dole and Howard Baker are honored at Andrew Mellon Auditorium in Washington by the Bipartisan Policy Center for their combined service of nearly 100 years.

July 18, 2016 – Attends the Republican National Convention. He is the only former GOP nominee to appear at the event, where Donald Trump accepts the party’s nomination for president.

November 17, 2016 – Dole is honored at the 2016 ASPCA Humane Awards Luncheon. During the event, he tells CNN that he expects people will be pleasantly surprised by President-elect Trump.

January 17, 2018 – Dole is presented with the Congressional Gold Medal. The Gold Medal is the highest civilian honor bestowed by Congress.

April 8, 2019 – President Trump signs legislation authorizing Dole’s honorary promotion from captain to colonel in the US Army.

February 18, 2021 – Announces that he has been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer and will undergo treatment.

December 5, 2021 – Passes away at the age of 98.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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