Dole announced in February that he had been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and would begin treatment.
Bob Dole, a U.S. senator for five terms and the Republican Party’s presidential nominee in 1996, died Sunday. He was 98.
He overcame the wounds of World War II to become a leading figure in American politics representing Kansas in Congress for 35 years.
Dole, known for a wit that ranged from self-deprecating to biting, died in his sleep, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation said. The veteran U.S. politician announced in February that he had been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and would begin treatment.
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce that Senator Robert Joseph Dole has died early this morning,” the foundation said in a statement on Twitter. “He has faithfully served the United States for 79 years.”
Dole ran for the presidency three times and was nominated by the Republican Party in 1996, but lost to Democratic incumbent Bill Clinton.
The Republican leader was his party’s vice-presidential nominee in 1976 on a ticket led by incumbent President Gerald Ford, but they lost to Democrat Jimmy Carter and his running mate Walter Mondale.
Dole, known for referring to himself in the third person, made a classic American journey from the poverty of the Great Depression of the 1930s, through World War II battlefields to the corridors of power with a stoic Midwestern dignity.
He represented Kansas in Congress for 35 years: 1961 to 1969 in the House of Representatives and 1969 to 1996 in the Senate.
He helped shape Republican President Ronald Reagan’s legislative agenda as a Senate majority leader in the 1980s and led important legislation of his own.