Bob Dole, the former senator and 1996 Republican presidential candidate, announced Thursday that he had advanced lung cancer.
“Recently I was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer,” Mr. Dole said in a press release. “My first treatment will start on Monday. While I certainly have some hurdles to overcome, I also know that I join millions of Americans who face significant health challenges.
Mr. Dole, 97, represented Kansas in the Senate for more than 25 years, including 11 years as the Republican leader of the chamber. He gave up his post as majority leader to run for the White House in 1996, only to lose to President Bill Clinton by a wide margin, 379 to 159 electoral votes.
He has faced health challenges for decades, starting with a battlefield injury during World War II, during which he served as an army second lieutenant. He was hit by machine gun fire, which nearly killed him and permanently restricted his use of his right arm. He then supported the Americans with Disabilities Act, passed in 1990, and then pushed the United States to accede to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Mr Dole – the oldest former presidential candidate or president, a year older than former president Jimmy Carter – revealed his lung cancer diagnosis a day after the death of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh of the same disease.