Bob Dole on campaign trail ahead of 1996 Republican primaries
Bob Dole on campaign trail ahead of 1996 Republican primaries REUTERS

Former Senator Bob Dole died Sunday morning at the age of 98.

Dole’s wife, former North Carolina Senator Elizabeth Dole, announced Sunday afternoon that her husband had passed away earlier in the day.

“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,” Elizabeth Dole tweeted.

In February, Dole announced that he had been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.

“While I certainly have some hurdles ahead, I also know that I join millions of Americans who face significant health challenges of their own,” he said in a statement.

A US Army veteran who was wounded while fighting in Italy in World War II, Dole entered politics in the 1950s, first being elected to the Kansas House of representatives before serving as a County Attorney for eight years.

He was elected four times to the US House of Representatives, later becoming a senator, representing Kansas from 1969 to 1996, including as Senate Minority Leader under three presidents.

After the 1994 midterms, Dole became Senate Majority Leader, and in 1995 threw his hat into the ring for the 1996 presidential election, eventually winning the Republican party’s nomination, only to lose the general election to the incumbent, Bill Clinton.

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