Bob Dole and Elizabeth Dole's love story: Veteran GOP leader mourned after death at 98

Bob Dole and Elizabeth Dole's love story: Veteran GOP leader mourned after death at 98
Bob Dole was married to Elizabeth Dole for over 46 years (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images, Photo by Brian Gomsak/Getty Images)

Former Kansas Senator and World War II veteran Robert Joseph Dole aka Bob Dole has tragically died at the age of 98 years on December 4, 2021. The news of his demise was confirmed in a statement released by his wife's welfare organization, Elizabeth Dole Foundation. "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," an excerpt from the statement read. He was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer a year ago. 

The former Presidential nominee and senior Republican lawmaker was mourned by the whos who of American politics, including President Joe Biden. "Bob Dole was a man to be admired by Americans. He had an unerring sense of integrity and honor. May God bless him, and may our nation draw upon his legacy of decency, dignity, good humor, and patriotism for all time," Joe Biden tweeted. Bob Dole is survived by his wife and former North Carolina Senator Elizabeth Dole, 85. 


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Bob Dole and Elizabeth Dole tied the knot way back in 1975, and have remained each other's closest companion and support ever since. In a 2019 interview with People, the pioneer political couple of America had reflected on their love story that spanned more than four decades. They met for the first time in 1972 when Bob was serving as a Senator in Kansas. 

"All of a sudden, the side door opens, and in comes Bob Dole. And I look up and I think, ‘Gee, he’s a good-looking guy'. And he says he wrote my name on the back of his blotter," Elizabeth Dole had recalled about meeting her future husband for the first time. They walked down the aisle following an 18-month-long courtship and stayed happily ever after. In fact, Elizabeth Dole had revealed that they never had a "serious argument" in all these years of togetherness. "I love his compassionate heart. And the fact that he loved to feel that each day he could make a difference for at least one person in need. And I loved the fact that he had such a great sense of humor," she had added. The couple held Conservative views and followed a devout religious lifestyle, joining the National Presbyterian Church in 1996. 

In 1996, Bob Dole became the Republican Presidential nominee who stood against Bill Clinton. Four years later, Elizabeth Dole followed his suit, but she dropped out of the Presidential campaign later. While Bob remained a Senator for Kansas from 1969 to 1996, Elizabeth Dole, a Harvard Law graduate, served as a GOP Senator for North Carolina from 2003 to 2009. In fact, she happened to be North Carolina's first female senator ever. 

Dole's tragic death was mourned on social media as his followers offered their sincere condolences to Elizabeth. Vice President Kamala Harris noted, "Senator Bob Dole was a war hero and patriot, who devoted his life to service. Today, @SecondGentleman and I are thinking of Sen. Elizabeth Dole and the entire Dole family as we remember the life of a great American."

"Senator Bob Dole was a war hero, a political leader, and a statesman—with a career and demeanor harkening back to a day when members of the Greatest Generation abided by a certain code, putting country over party. Our thoughts are with Elizabeth and the Dole family," former President Barack Obama tweeted. 

Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shared a photo with Bob and Elizabeth Dole as he tweeted, "Sen. Bob Dole is a Kansas war hero who believed in America’s exceptionalism with his whole heart. He devoted his life to serving Kansas & America—in and out of uniform. Our family’s hearts are broken. Please join us in praying for Elizabeth & the Dole family."

"Senator Bob Dole leaves behind an incredible legacy of service and love of country. God bless his wife Elizabeth and the entire Dole family as our nation mourns the loss of a true American hero," North Carolina Congressman Greg Murphy tweeted. 





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