Bob Dole, veteran American politician and WWII hero, dies at 98

Bob Dole, who fought serious injuries from World War II to become a five-term US senator and the 1996 Republican presidential candidate, died on Sunday, his family foundation announced. He was 98 years old.

“It is with a heavy heart that we announce that Senator Robert Joseph Dole passed away early this morning in his sleep,” the Elizabeth Dole Foundation wrote on Twitter.

“At his death, at the age of 98, he had faithfully served the United States of America for 79 years.

Dole was elected to the United States Senate in 1968 and was re-elected in 1974, 1980, 1986, and 1992, serving as Senate Majority and Minority Leader over the years.

In 1976, Dole was chosen by Gerald Ford to be his running mate, but the Republican ticket was lost to Democrats Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale.

Twenty years later, Dole lost the White House race to Democrat Bill Clinton, making him the only person to lose the presidential and vice-presidential elections on a ticket to a big party.

A conservative Republican who campaigned to bring government under control, Dole also had a pragmatic streak and sponsored bipartisan legislation during his 35 years in Congress.

Tributes poured in quickly for the veteran American politician, including former Vice President Mike Pence, who paid tribute to a “truly great man who lived a life of extraordinary service.”

“He will be sadly missed by all of us who had the privilege of knowing him.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has ordered the flags of the United States Capitol to be half-masted in honor of Dole, her chief of staff has announced.

Updated: December 5, 2021, 5:41 PM

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