Bob Dole, a Republican icon, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, Dec. 5.

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation confirmed Dole died in his sleep. In February, he said he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, according to Reuters.

His dignified life through failures and physical injuries left Americans with priceless heritage.

Born on July 22, 1923, in Russell, Kansas, Dole grew up in poverty through the Great Depression of the 1930s.  

He served in World War II and was left with major injuries and a blast that almost took his life. It took Dole three painful years of operations and therapy to recover the best he could, the Associated Press reported. 

With his right arm and hand forever numb, Dole graduated from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, with a law degree in 1952. During his service to the American people, Dole advocated for disabled people.

Dole performed as a Kansas lawmaker and county attorney before being elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1960 and the Senate in 1968. He represented Kansas in Congress for 35 years. 

During his final 11 years in politics, Dole served as the Republican leader of the United States Senate, including three noncontinuous years as Senate majority leader.

He joined the U.S. presidential race three times but without success. The way he later viewed his failures, as AP reported, “are parts of the same picture—the picture of a full life.”

Reuters noted he was the driving force behind the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which prohibits discrimination in employment, public accommodations, and transportation based on disability.

Dole stayed committed to assisting disabled veterans and paying tribute to the fallen. He was instrumental in the construction of the World War II Memorial on the National Mall. And as AP added, the man still paid regular visits to the memorial even in his 90s.

Democrat President Joe Biden in a statement following his death spoke about their friendship and recalled the last time he visited Dole. 

“We picked up right where we left off, as though it were only yesterday that we were sharing a laugh in the Senate dining room or debating the great issues of the day, often against each other, on the Senate floor,” Biden said. “Though we often disagreed, he never hesitated to work with me or other Democrats when it mattered most.”

Former President Donald Trump, a Republican, also released a statement to honor the late politician of a bygone era.

“Bob Dole was an American war hero and true patriot for our Nation,” the statement reads. “He served the Great State of Kansas with honor and the Republican party was made stronger by his service.”

“Our nation mourns his passing, and our prayers are with Elizabeth and his wonderful family.”

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