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Robert Joseph Dole was born in Russell, Kansas, on July 22, 1923. He graduated from Russell High School in 1941, where he had been a member of the National Honor Society and played on the basketball team. He then enrolled at the University of Kansas as a pre-med student, participating on the basketball, football and track teams before being called to active duty in World War II.
Dole was called into the infantry in June 1943 and was commissioned Second Lieutenant, after completion of Officer Candidate School, in November 1944. He then served as a 10th Mountain Division platoon leader in the Allied liberation of Northern Italy. Twice wounded and twice decorated for heroic achievement, he was discharged with the rank of Captain in July 1948, having convalesced for three years to recover from severe wounds that left his right arm paralyzed.
Returning home, Dole attended the University of Arizona from 1948 to 1949. He then transferred to Washburn Municipal University (now Washburn University), from which he received his undergraduate degree; he received his law degree from Washburn in 1952. His political career began while he was still at Washburn, as outlined below.
Chronology of His Political Career
Other Important Positions Held
Other positions held by Dole during his
Dole was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on January 17, 1997. He also received the American Legion's Distinguished Service Medal, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Teddy Roosevelt Award. He has been engaged in the practice of law in Washington, D.C., since 1997.
Bob Dole married Phyllis Holden in June 1948, with whom he had one daughter, Robin. The couple divorced in January 1972. He married Elizabeth Hanford on December 6, 1975.
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This page was last updated on September 24, 2017.