Former GOP Senator and war hero Bob Dole passes away at 98

by Meredith Minto

The GOP senator that served Kansas and the United States for nearly 27 years in the U.S. Senate and eight years in the House of Representatives, passed away in his sleep Sunday morning.

Senator Dole was known for his service to the United States not just as a public servant, but for his heroic actions in World War II, which left him partially paralyzed and left him without one of his kidneys. He was left to struggle with many battle scars for years to come after the war that left him in military hospitals and losing the use of his right arm.

Gerald Ford asked him to run as a candidate for vice president in 1976 and vied for the presidential nomination for the Republican Party in both 1980 and 1988.

In 1996, Dole was nominated as the GOP nominee for the presidential race against then-incumbent Bill Clinton.

A political scientist at Rutgers University, Ross Baker, told NPR, “When you think about the fact that Bob Dole was elected to the House of Representatives the same year that John F. Kennedy was elected president, and that he went on, for example, in 1994 to be one of the most important factors in the defeat of Bill Clinton’s health insurance plan, and then run for president in 1996, you realize that, in a sense, the last four decades of the 20th century were Bob Dole territory.”

The long-time public servant will be mostly remembered for his contributions to the Republican Party and his World War II sacrifices when he was shot by Nazi fire and never fully recovered from his wounds. In spite of adversity, Dole went on to accomplish college, law school, and serve his country for nearly 79 years.

The senator remained active in political life, supporting his wife in her U.S. Senate service from 2003-2007. He also supported then-candidate Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

According to Fox News, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy released this statement,

“As a public servant, private citizen, and true patriot, Senator Bob Dole showed total dedication to the American experiment and its deepest ideals, answering liberty’s call at every turn,” said McCarthy.” A combat hero, champion for those with disabilities, congressional leader from Kansas, and presidential candidate, Dole served this nation for 79 years. He lived a life of heroism and humor, courage and consequence, leadership and legacy that every American should strive for.”

“At this moment and in his memory we should reflect on service to one another,” he continued. “We should all think on what we can do for a veteran, a neighbor in need, or someone facing a challenging circumstance and commit to following the example Senator Dole set for the country.”

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