Bob Dole, longtime senator and GOP presidential candidate, dies at age 98

Longtime U.S. senator and former Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole died Sunday at the age of 98, the Associated Press reported

The GOP legend and World War II veteran served more than three decades representing the state of Kansas in Congress, the AP said. His casket will lie in state at the Capitol building in Washington beginning Thursday.

Nearly 8 decades of service

The news was made public in a statement from the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. “It is with heavy hearts we announce that Senator Robert Joseph Dole died early this morning in his sleep,” the foundation announced in a tweet Sunday.

“At his death, at age 98, he had served the United States of America faithfully for 79 years,” the statement added. “More information coming soon.”

In a separate statement, the Dole family thanked Americans “for the outpouring of love over the last year, it continues to sustain us as we grieve the loss of the precious man we knew as husband and father.”

“Bob Dole was never only ours — we shared him with Americans from every walk of life and every political persuasion,” the family’s statement read, according to Fox News. “He dedicated his life to serving you, and so it is heartwarming that so many honor him at his passing.”

“Among the greatest”

In the wake of Dole’s death, the longtime public servant is being remembered by those on both sides of the political aisle as a true patriot. Virginia Governor-elect Glenn Younkin (R) declared in a tweet that “Bob Dole loved our Nation and committed his life to public service.”

President Joe Biden also released a statement praising the former senator, who served as majority leader in the upper chamber in the mid-1980s and then again in the mid-1990s, as “[a] war hero and among the greatest of the Greatest Generation.”

“And to me, he was also a friend whom I could look to for trusted guidance, or a humorous line at just the right moment to settle frayed nerves,” Biden recalled. “I will miss my friend. But I am grateful for the times we shared, and for the friendship Jill and I and our family have built with Liddy and the entire Dole family.”

According to his Senate biography, Dole was born in Russell, Kansas, and attended the University of Kansas, where he became an accomplished athlete. He went on to volunteer for the Army and was seriously wounded in World War II before pursuing a career in politics.

According to ABC News, Dole is survived by his wife Elizabeth and daughter Robin.

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