Former GOP Senator Bob Dole to Be 33rd to Lie in State at US Capitol Rotunda

Former Republican presidential candidate and Senator Bob Dole died at age 98 Sunday, and Thursday will become the 33rd individual to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, according to the Associated Press.

Dole was a World War II veteran who represented Kansas in Congress for 36 years, four terms each in the House and Senate, influencing policies from taxes to foreign affairs to being a key advocate for the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

"Senator Dole was an extraordinary patriot, who devoted his entire life to serving our nation with dignity and integrity," said Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Lying in state or honor in the Capitol is one of the highest honors a citizen or government official can receive after their death, with a ceremony that pays tribute to their accomplishments.

Congressman Henry Clay and President Abraham Lincoln were the first two Americans to receive the honor of lying in state as former government officials in 1852 and 1865, respectively.

Three men have been chosen to lie in state in the rotunda in the past three years: Representative and Senator John McCain, former President George H.W. Bush and former Representative and civil rights icon John Lewis.

Former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Representative Elijah Cummings were chosen to lie in state in the National Statuary Hall in lieu of the rotunda.

Lying in honor is the alternative for the general public, which has been bestowed on four Capitol Police officers, along with the Reverend Billy Graham in 2018 and Rosa Parks, the first woman to lie in honor, in 2005.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Bob Dole, Lying in State, US Capitol
Former Republican presidential candidate and Senator Bob Dole, "an extraordinary patriot,' died at age 98 Sunday and will become the 33rd individual to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. Above, Dole attends the unveiling of his portrait at the U.S. Capitol on July 25, 2006. Lawrence Jackson/Associated Press File

Dole was a leader known for his caustic wit, which he often turned on himself but didn't hesitate to turn on others, too.

He won the Republican nomination in 1996, but was defeated when President Bill Clinton won a second term. He was also 1976 GOP vice presidential candidate on the losing ticket with President Gerald Ford.

"Those of us who were lucky to know Bob well ourselves admired him even more," said Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate. "A bright light of patriotic good cheer burned all the way from Bob's teenage combat heroics through his whole career in Washington and through the years since. We look forward to honoring his life and legacy at the Capitol."

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he didn't get to serve with Dole, but "his reputation and his achievements, and most of all his character preceded him."

Dole received two Purple Hearts for his valor in World War II. Throughout his political career, he carried the mark of war. Charging a German position in northern Italy in 1945, Dole was hit by a shell fragment that crushed two vertebrae and paralyzed his arms and legs. The young Army platoon leader spent three years recovering in a hospital and never regained use of his right hand.

Bob Dole, Lying in State, US Capitol
Lowered to half-staff in honor of former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole of Kansas, flags fly in the breeze at sunrise on the National Mall with the U.S. Capitol in the background, Monday in Washington. It was announced Monday that Dole's body will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda on Thursday. David Ake/Associated Press