Sen. Dole was a former Senate majority leader and Republican presidential candidate. Having served in World War 2 and becoming seriously injured while in Italy, Sen. Dole was awarded two Purple Hearts for his service, as well as the Bronze Star with “V” Device for valour for his attempt to assist a downed soldier.
The Elizabeth Dole Foundation confirmed that Sen. Dole, who had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer earlier this year, died in his sleep.
A statement from the foundation read: “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.”
He announced the diagnosis on February 18, 2021, in a statement.
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He said: “Recently, I was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.
“My first treatment will begin on Monday [February 22].
“While I certainly have some hurdles ahead, I also know that I join millions of Americans who face significant health challenges of their own.”
Sen. Dole had suffered a series of health ailments in previous years, including a battle with prostate cancer in 1991.
In his speech accepting the nomination, he said: “Let me be the bridge to an America that only the unknowing call myth.
“Let me be the bridge to a time of tranquillity, faith and confidence in action.”
Before that, he was the Vice Presidential nominee in the 1976 election.
The US political heavyweight resigned from the Senate during the 1996 campaign and did not seek public office again after the election.
In the 2016 Republican primaries, Sen. Dole initially supported Jeb Bush, but later became the only former Republican presidential nominee to endorse Donald Trump.
Sen. Dole is survived by his wife, former Sen. Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, and daughter Robin Dole.