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Bob Dole
Bob Dole, PCCWW photo portrait.JPG
Dole in 2005. (Please note: this table displays only Dole´s senatorial career.)
United States Senator
from Kansas
In office
January 3, 1969 – June 11, 1996
Preceded by Frank Carlson
Succeeded by Sheila Frahm
15th United States Senate Majority Leader
In office
January 3, 1985 – January 3, 1987
Preceded by Howard H. Baker, Jr.
Succeeded by Robert Byrd
18th United States Senate Majority Leader
In office
January 3, 1995 – June 11, 1996
Preceded by George J. Mitchell
Succeeded by Trent Lott
15th United States Senate Minority Leader
In office
January 3, 1987 – January 3, 1995
Preceded by Robert Byrd
Succeeded by Tom Daschle
Personal details
Robert Joseph Dole

July 22, 1923 (1923-07-22) (age 98)
Russell, Kansas, U.S.
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) (1) Phyllis Holden, divorced
(2) Elizabeth Dole
Law School Washburn University, 1952

Robert Joseph "Bob" Dole (born July 22, 1923) is an American statesman, and he is a former United States Senator from Kansas. He was the Republican leader of the Senate from 1985 to 1996. In 1996, he ran against Bill Clinton for President and lost. After that, he retired from politics at the age of 72.

In 2019, the U.S. Congress passed a bill promoting the 95-year-old Dole from Captain to Colonel. They did this to honor his service during World War II.

In 1976, Gerald Ford chose him to be his Vice Presidential choice for the November, 1976 election. They lost the election; Bob Dole never became Vice President.

Shortly after the 1996 election, he famously appeared in a Pepsi commercial, saying, "I just cannot win."

Dole has a habit of talking in the third person, or using his own name instead of "I" when he talks about himself. This habit is the basis for many jokes about Dole.

Early life and education

Dole was born on July 22, 1923, in Russell, Kansas. He is the son of Binta M. (née Talbott; 1904–1983) and Doran Ray Dole (1901–1975).

Dole graduated from Russell High School in the spring of 1941. He went to the University of Kansas starting in Fall 1941. Dole's college studies were stopped by World War II. He enlisted in the United States Army.

Dole attended the University of Arizona from 1948 to 1949. He then went to Washburn University and graduated with both undergraduate and law degrees in 1952.

Political career

Kansas House of Representatives

Dole ran for office for the first time in 1950. He was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives. He served a two-year term.

County Attorney of Russell County, KS

In 1952, he became the County Attorney of Russell County.

U.S. House

In 1960, Dole was elected to the United States House of Representatives from Kansas' 6th Congressional District. He served till 1969, when he became a Senator.

U.S. Senate

Nixon with Robert Dole - NARA - 194643
Dole meeting with President Nixon in 1969. Photo by Oliver F. Atkins.

In 1968, Dole defeated Kansas Governor William H. Avery for the Republican nomination for the United States Senate. Dole was re-elected in 1974, 1980, 1986, and 1992. He resigned on June 11, 1996, to focus on his Presidential campaign.

While in the Senate, Dole was the chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1971–73. He was the ranking Republican on the Agriculture Committee from 1975–78. He was the chairman of the Finance Committee from 1981–85.

Senate Republican Leader

He was also, perhaps more importantly, the Senate Republican Leader 1985 to 1996 (and conseqencially, the Senate Minority Leader from 1987-1995 and the Senate Majority Leader from 1985-1987 and 1995-1996).

Presidential Campaign(s)

1976 Presidential Election

In 1976, President Gerald Ford (a Republican from Michigan) decided to make then-Senator Bob Dole his running mate. During the campaign, Dole made the unpopular remark that all wars in America had been caused by Democrats. This may have partially accounted for their narrow loss to the Democratic ticket (for president, Gov. Jimmy Carter of Georgia; for vice president, Sen. Walter Mondale of Minnesota).

1996 Presidential Election

In 1996, Dole was finally nominated for president, choosing as his running mate Jack Kemp, a footballer from New York State. He lost to Bill Clinton, and his running mate Al Gore (of Tennessee), who were running for a second term.

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