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Robert J. Dole: A Featured Biography


Bob Dole by Everett Raymond Kinstler

Representing Kansas in the House for eight years and the Senate for more than 27 years, Bob Dole was known as a strong partisan debater and tough negotiator who also excelled at forging bipartisan alliances to enact legislation. Born on July 22, 1923, in Russell, Kansas, Dole attended the University of Kansas, playing for the basketball and football teams and running track. He joined the army and was seriously wounded during World War II, spending years undergoing rehabilitation at a military hospital. Two of his fellow patients, Daniel Inouye of Hawaii and Phil Hart of Michigan, later served with him in the Senate. Demonstrating his ability to reach across party lines, Dole joined with liberal Democrat George McGovern to reform the federal food stamp program in 1977. He chaired the Finance Committee from 1981 to 1985 and served as Republican floor leader from 1985 until 1996, when he left the Senate to run for president. In 2000 Dole returned to the Senate to deliver a “Leader’s Lecture” to his former colleagues in the Old Senate Chamber. In 2018 Dole became only the eighth senator to receive the Congressional Gold Medal.