The U.S. political community, led by President Joe Biden, paid tributes to late war time hero and longtime Senator Bob Dole.
“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”, his family said in a statement Sunday.
Bob had been diagnosed with lung cancer in February. He is survived by wife Elizabeth and daughter Robin.
“Bob was an American statesman like few in our history,” Biden said in a statement. He was “among the greatest of the Greatest Generation.”
“In the Senate, though we often disagreed, he never hesitated to work with me or other Democrats when it mattered most,” Biden recalled.
As a mark of respect for Dole, he ordered that the U.S.flag shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and facilities until sunset on December 9.
“The men and women of the Department of Defense join me in sadness at the news of the passing of Senator Bob Dole, an American hero, a titan of the Senate, and one of the greatest members of the Greatest Generation,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin said on the Passing of Senator Dole.
Dole was the Republican party’s presidential nominee in 1996 against Democrat Bill Clinton. Clinton said Dole’s example should “inspire people today and for generations to come”.
Former President George W Bush said Dole “represented the finest of American values”.
Emerging from humble beginnings in Kansas, Dole was almost dead on a World War II battlefield as a young platoon leader in 1944. During a spring offensive in Italy, was severely wounded by enemy fire while trying to pull his radioman to safety. He lied paralyzed for ten hours before being evacuated.
He later served as a county prosecutor, a Kansas state legislator, a U.S. Representative, a Senator, and a presidential candidate. A man of uncommon strength, keen wit, and deep feeling, Dole is one of the longest-serving Republican leaders.
In the Senate, his tireless advocacy led to the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990.
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