Bob Dole

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Robert Dole
Former U.S. Senator, Kansas
Image:Dole.jpg
Party Republican
In Office from

January 3, 1969 — June 11, 1996

Preceded by Frank Carlson
Succeeded by Sheila Frahm
Born July 22, 1923
Spouse Phyllis Holden, Elizabeth H. Dole
Religion Methodist


Robert Joseph Dole (born July 22, 1923) is best known as a former Republican United States Senate Majority Leader and Senator from Kansas. He was also the unsuccessful Republican nominee for President in the 1996 election.

Contents

Early years

Dole was born in Russell, Kansas. He graduated from Washburn Municipal University in Topeka, Kansas with an undergraduate degree and law degree in 1952. He also attended the University of Kansas from 1941 - 1943 and the University of Arizona from 1948 - 1949. During the Second World Wart Dole was a combat infantry officer with the U.S. 10th Mountain Division in Italy. Wounded twice and hospitalized for 39 months, he received two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star. Dole eventually lost almost all use of his right arm due to his war injuries.

Career

Dole was admitted to the bar and commenced the practice of law in his hometown in 1952. He ran for office and was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives serving a two-year term ending in 1953. He became county attorney of Russell County, performing in this capacity until 1961. In 1960, Dole was elected as a Republican to the U.S. House of Representatives for the 87th Congress and to three succeeding Congresses, spanning from January 3, 1961 to January 3, 1969.

In 1968 he was elected to the United States Senate, and was re-elected in 1974, 1980, 1986, and 1992, until resigning on June 11, 1996 to focus his efforts on his Presidential campaign. While in the Senate he also served as chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1971 until 1973.

His roles in Senate politics include:

  • Chairman of the Committee on Finance ([1981 - 1985);
  • Special Committee on Security and Cooperation in Europe (1985 - 1987);
  • Majority Leader (1985 - 1987) and (1995 - 1996); and
  • Minority Leader (1987 - 1995).

In 1976 Dole ran unsuccessfully for Vice President of the United States on a ticket headed by Gerald Ford, replacing incumbent Vice President Nelson Rockefeller who many Republicans regarded as too moderate. He also ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 1988, losing to then-Vice President George H.W. Bush.

Dole was defeated in a landslide by Bill Clinton in the 1996 election. President Clinton awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom two months later.

Dole has worked part-time for a Washington, DC law firm, and engaged in a career of writing, consulting, public speaking, and television appearances. This has included becoming a television commercial spokesman for such products as Viagra and Pepsi-Cola, and as an occasional political commentator on the popular American interview program Larry King Live. On that show he had a heated exchange with Democratic presidential primary candidate Wesley Clark in which he correctly predicted that Clark would lose the New Hampshire primary and other primaries. Among the books Dole has written is one on jokes told by the presidents of the United States, in which he classifies presidents according to their humorousness. He himself is believed by many to have a gift for humor.

Retirement

In retirement Dole served as an advertizing shill for Viagra. His portrait, painted by Everett Raymond Kinstler of New York, was hung in the U.S. Senate gallery in July, 2006. This violated the norm that a former Senator must have been gone from the body for 21 years before his protrait is hung on its walls.

Personal life

Dole married Phyllis Holden, an occupational therapist at a Veterans Hospital, in Battle Creek, Michigan in 19]]. His daughter Robin was born in 1954. Dole and Phyllis were divorced in 1972. Dole married Elizabeth Hanford in 1975; Elizabeth later ran an unsuccessful campaign for the Republican nomination for President in 2000 and was elected to the United States Senate representing North Carolina in 2002.

External links and sources

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