Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader; Co-founder, Bipartisan Policy Center
Contact Bob Dole
A renowned statesman, Senator Dole was elected to Congress from his home state of Kansas in 1960 and to the U.S. Senate in 1968.
He gained national prominence as Chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1971 to 1972. In 1976, President Gerald Ford tapped him to be his vice presidential running mate. Elected Senate Majority Leader in 1984, Senator Dole set a record as the nation’s longest serving Republican leader. He resigned from the Senate in 1996 to pursue his campaign for President of the United States.
Senator Dole served as National Chairman of the World War II Memorial Campaign from 1997 to 2004 and is the former Chairman of the International Commission on Missing Persons in former Yugoslavia. Following September 11, he joined former President Bill Clinton in helping to raise over $120 million as Co-Chair of the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund, which will enable families of victims to attend a college or trade school of their choice. Senator Dole also served as President of the influential Federal City Council in Washington, D.C. and is Honorary Co-Chair of the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, a part of the U.S.A. Freedom Corps.
In 2004, Senator Dole received the Golden Medal of Freedom from the President of Kosova in recognition of his credit for the protection of freedom, independence and democracy of Kosova, as well as the promotion of friendship and a special relationship between Kosova and the United States. In 1997, Senator Dole received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, which is awarded by the President to persons deemed to have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interest of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. His other celebrated honors include, among others, the American Legion's prestigious Distinguished Service Medal; the Horatio Alger Award from The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans; the U.S. Defense Department’s Distinguished Public Service Award; and the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Teddy Roosevelt Award.
Senator Dole’s record of public service includes numerous distinguished appointments, including advisor, U.S. Delegation to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, 1965, 1968, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1979; member, Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, 1977; member, National Commission on Social Security Reform, 1983; member, U.S. National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, 1970, 1973; advisor, U.S. Delegation to Study the Arab Refugee Problem, 1967; and advisor, President's Delegation to Study the Food Crisis in India, 1966.
Senator Dole served as Chairman of the Board of The Dole Foundation, which he established in 1983 to advance educational and workforce opportunities for the disabled. The Robert Dole Scholarship Fund for Disabled Students has recently been established in his honor at the United Negro College Fund. Additionally, Dole is a major spokesman for men’s health issues, hospice care, and Americans with disabilities. His personal history of service includes active duty in World War II, during which he was gravely wounded and received for heroic achievement two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster.
Senator Dole attended the University of Kansas, Lawrence, and received an A.B. and LL.B from Washburn Municipal University in 1952. He is admitted to practice in Kansas.