Former Republican Presidential Nominee Announces Stage 4 Cancer Diagnosis


Former GOP Sen. Bob Dole, the 1996 Republican presidential nominee, has been diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer, he announced through a statement on Thursday.

Dole, 97, posted a statement on Twitter sharing his advanced cancer diagnosis and that he would begin his first treatment next week.

“Recently, I was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. My first treatment will begin on Monday,” Dole said in the statement. “While I certainly have some hurdles ahead, I also know that I join millions of Americans who face significant health challenges of their own.”

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The news of Dole’s diagnosis came just a day after conservative radio legend Rush Limbaugh lost his long battle against lung cancer. Limbaugh passed away after being a mainstay in GOP politics for more than three decades.

Republican Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas praised Dole online Thursday for his work ethic, political acumen and lifetime of public service.

Dole has been out of the spotlight for years, but he represented the people of Kansas in Congress from 1961 to 1996. The former state legislator was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1960.

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In 1968, Dole was elected to the Senate, and he remained there until his 1996 presidential bid. The former two-time Senate majority leader ultimately lost the race to President Bill Clinton and retired from office.

Clinton cruised to re-election in 1996, bringing in 47.4 million votes to Dole’s roughly 39.2 million. Reform Party candidate Ross Perot nabbed another 8 million votes. Some argued Perot might have cost Dole a potential election win, as he had been accused of doing in 1992 when Clinton defeated incumbent Republican President George H.W. Bush.

Dole left life as an elected official behind but enjoyed status as somewhat of a celebrity in the years following the presidential election loss — even appearing in TV commercials. He appeared in this popular Pepsi commercial with pop singer Britney Spears:

Prior to entering politics, Dole was wounded while fighting the German Army in Italy during World War II.

Dole sometimes shares his thoughts on Twitter. In October, he grabbed the attention of a new generation of conservatives when he criticized the Commission on Presidential Debates — relaying a message he was concerned that then-President Donald Trump would be treated unfairly by both Democrats and Republicans on the commission.

“The Commission on Presidential Debates is supposedly bipartisan w/ an equal number of Rs and Ds. I know all of the Republicans and most are friends of mine. I am concerned that none of them support @realDonaldTrump. A biased Debate Commission is unfair,” he wrote.

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.