One of the most recognizable political figures of modern times, conservative Bob Dole, passed away on Sunday, December 5, 2021.
A statement from his family read, “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.”
He is survived by his wife, former Senator of North Carolina, Elizabeth Dole, and daughter Robin Dole.
President Joe Biden had visited with Dole in February after he learned that he was being treated for stage 4 lung cancer. At the time, Dole had said, “While I certainly have some hurdles ahead, I also know that I join millions of Americans who face significant health challenges of their own.”
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This morning, Biden issued a statement regarding the loss of the late presidential hopeful:
“Bob was an American statesman like few in our history. A war hero and among the greatest of the Greatest Generation. And to me, he was also a friend whom I could look to for trusted guidance or a humorous line at just the right moment to settle frayed nerves. I will miss my friend. But I am grateful for the times we shared, and for the friendship Jill and I and our family have built with Liddy and the entire Dole family.”
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Bob Dole: A Lifetime Of Achievement
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
As TMZ reported, Bob Dole joined the United States Army in 1942 and fought during World War II. While serving in Italy, he was severely injured and sent to a hospital in his home state of Kansas to treat injuries to his right arm, collarbone, and spine. For his service to his country, Dole received two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star.
In 1951, Dole won his first national political election when he ran for the House of Representatives and became a United States Senator to the state of Kansas in 1969. He maintained his Senate seat until 1996, when he resigned. Although the presidential hopeful ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 1980 and 1988, he lost to Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, respectively.
In 1997, then-President Bill Clinton presented Dole with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition for his contributions to his military service and to American politics.
The Public Remembers Bob Dole For His Service And Kind Heart
Bob Dole was the type of man who at 96, unable to walk and struggling badly with his health, wanted to be held up so he could salute the casket of a fellow WWII veteran and former president pic.twitter.com/udvVDSYg17
— Sunny McSunnyface (@sunnyright) December 5, 2021
Individuals put politics aside as they expressed condolences for the late Dole and his family.
“Bob Dole was the type of man who at 96, unable to walk and struggling badly with his health, wanted to be held up so he could salute the casket of a fellow WWII veteran and former president,” one user wrote alongside the photo.
“I remember watching that moment and being so incredibly moved by him,” someone else commented on the post.
“I’m walking into work with tears in my eyes, what a strong patriotic picture that sends shivers down my spine,” another added.
“What a powerful image,” said another. “It shows the content of his character and how proud he was to be an American.”
“May God bless his family and friends,” another wrote. “RIP Mr. Dole, an American Hero.”