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Bob and Elizabeth met in 1972 as she lobbied him to add consumer issues to the Republican platform. They married in December 1975, creating one of Washington’s most famous “power couples.” Independently and collectively, the two have dedicated their lives to serving others politically and philanthropically.
Bob Dole’s commitment to public service began during his college years when he enlisted in the Army Reserve Corps in December 1942. Soon after, he left the University of Kansas to serve in World War II. After returning from a tour of duty in Italy, Bob spent three years rebuilding his severely wounded body through the help of friends and family in his hometown of Russell, Kansas. To repay their generosity and support, Bob continued a life of public service. He has served as Russell county attorney, U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator, chairman of the Republican National Committee, vice-presidential candidate for Gerald Ford in 1976, and candidate for President in 1996. In addition to his service as an elected official, Bob Dole has also volunteered his time to charitable causes including the World Food Programme, Americans with Disabilities, American veterans and Honor Flight, and a scholarship fund for the families of 9/11 victims. Bob Dole currently works in the Washington, DC office at the law firm Alston & Bird.
Elizabeth Hanford Dole began her career in public service at the age of 29, when she began working for the Department of Health, Education and Welfare during the Lyndon B. Johnson administration and for the Office of Consumer Affairs. She was promoted under the Nixon administration to executive director of the President’s Committee for Consumer Interests, and later to the Federal Trade Commission. She is the only woman to have served as Cabinet Secretary of two federal departments under two different presidents (Transportation 1983-87 Reagan; Labor 1989-90 George H.W. Bush). Elizabeth served as the second female President of the American Red Cross from 1991 to 1998, the first woman to hold the position since founder Clara Barton in 1881. A presidential candidate herself for the 2000 election, she was elected to the U.S. Senate for the state of North Carolina in 2002 but lost the seat in the 2008 election.