Robert Joseph Dole (born July 22, 1923), is a former Representative and Senator from Kansas. He is best known as being the Majority Leader of the Senate and later as a 1996 presidential candidate, a presidential race in which he lost in a landslide.
Born in Russell, Kansas, he graduated from Washburn Municipal University in Topeka, Kansas with an undergraduate degree and law degree in 1952, after attending Kansas University from 1941 - 1943 and the University of Arizona from 1948 - 1949. During World War II Dole served as a combat infantry officer in Italy, was wounded twice and hospitalized for thirty-nine months. Dole married Phyllis Holden, an occupational therapist at a Veterans Hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan, in June 1948. He was admitted to the bar and commenced the practice of law in his hometown in 1952.
He later ran for office and was elected to the State house of representatives serving a two year term ending in 1953. His daughter Robin was born in 1954. He became county attorney of Russell County performing in this capacity until 1961. Dole was then elected as a Republican to the Eighty-Seventh Congress and to the three succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1961 - January 3, 1969). In 1968 he was elected to the United States Senate. He was divorced from his first wife in 1972. He was reelected to the Senate in 1974. He married his second wife, Elizabeth Hanford in 1975. He was reelected to the Senate in 1980, 1986 and again in 1992 (serving from January 3, 1969, to June 11, 1996). In 1996 he resigned to devote his efforts to his Presidential campaign ending his leadership as Majority Leader (1985 - 1987), and earlier as 1995 - 1996 Minority Leader 1987 - 1995; Chairman of the Committee on Finance (1981 - 1985), Special Committee on Security and Cooperation in Europe (1985 - 1987); unsuccessful Republican candidate for Vice President of the United States in 1976; unsuccessful candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination in 1988; unsuccessful Republican nominee for President of the United States in 1996; engaged in the practice of law in Washington, DC, (1997 -).
Following his unsuccessful Presidential campaign, Dole became a television commercial spokesman for such products as Viagra and Pepsi-Cola. Dole's wife, Elizabeth Dole, ran an unsuccessful campaign for the Republican nomination for President in 2000 and was elected to the United States Senate representing North Carolina in 2002.
(Taken from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress)