Bob Dole, 1996 Republican presidential candidate, dies aged 98

Image copyright Reuters Image caption In an April 2016 statement, Dole described his Alzheimer’s diagnosis as “a gentle test”

Bob Dole, a former US Senate majority leader and 1996 Republican presidential candidate, has died aged 98.

Dole’s office said he died on Tuesday morning at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, DC.

The son of a preacher, Dole spent three years in the army’s elite 101st Airborne Division in World War II.

He later went into politics, serving in the Senate for 31 years and on the Republican National Committee.

Dole was part of the conservative “greatest generation” who joined the country’s volunteer forces in the 1940s.

After his war experience, he became president of the US Olympic Committee in 1952. Three years later, he got into the Republican primary race, hoping to challenge President Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950 presidential election.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Dole campaigned against President Clinton in 1996 in his own home state of Kansas

Instead, Dole found himself working with Lyndon Johnson on Capitol Hill, rising to the position of majority leader.

Dole also held key positions in the Nixon and Ford administrations, spending four years as chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Bob Dole is survived by his wife and his four sons

In 1978, Dole was elected to the Senate, where he served until 1996.

In 1988, he narrowly lost his bid for the presidency, losing to Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis.

He returned to his family home in Kansas, where he campaigned against Bill Clinton and Albert Gore Jr.

Dole suffered from Alzheimer’s disease but earlier this year he said that his prognosis was good.

He was treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Dole is survived by his wife Elizabeth and four sons.

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