Former Sen. Bob Dole to get treatment for advanced-stage lung cancer

Former Sen. Bob Dole at a Senate hearing in January, 2017.


By NIKKI WENTLING | STARS AND STRIPES Published: February 18, 2021

WASHINGTON – Former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, a World War II veteran, said Thursday he was diagnosed with advanced-stage lung cancer and would begin treatment Monday.  

Dole, 97, shared his diagnosis on Twitter. He has stage-four lung cancer, the most advanced stage of the disease. In his statement, he acknowledged those suffering from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

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

Dole became known as a hero of World War II who survived and overcame debilitating injuries to become one of the country’s most prominent and influential politicians. He represented Kansas in the House from 1961 to 1969, followed by a 27-year tenure as a senator. He held the role of Republican leader of the Senate during his final 11 years in that chamber before he launched his second and final presidential run in 1996. 

After his political career, Dole championed a movement to memorialize WWII on the National Mall. In 1997, one year after his final failed presidential bid, he took over as the national chairman of the fundraising campaign for the National World War II Memorial.  

In a 2019 interview with Stars and Stripes, Dole said: “I’ve had a lot of public service, and most of it, I enjoyed. I’ve had a good life.”  

Twitter: @nikkiwentling


In a November, 2007 photo, former Sen. Bob Dole poses for a photo with an Honor Flight participant at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. For years, Dole has been a regular visitor to the memorial, greeting his fellow veterans.