Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics
Some participants in the Oral History Project

Senator Bob Dole served in the U.S. Congress for 35 years for the state of Kansas. He was elected Senate Republican Leader 1985-1996, which until 2018, was the record for longest serving Republican Leader in the United States Senate. He was the 1996 Republican Nominee for President, and President Ford’s Vice-Presidential candidate in 1976. He served in many roles throughout his career, including Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance (1981-1985) and 47th Chairman of the Republican National Committee (1971-1973).

Through a series of oral history interviews with a variety of people who knew and worked with Senator Dole in various capacities, this project provides the definitive oral research on both Dole's political life in Kansas and his long tenure in the Senate. Collectively, these interviews offer insight into Dole's leadership style, and they document the accomplishments and legacy of one of America's most respected leaders and statesmen.

The Dole Institute Oral History Project was completed in two separate phases, each with distinct characteristics and goals. Combined, these interviews augment other primary sources and provide recollections of the men and women who were there with Senator Dole. These firsthand accounts provide a crucial piece missing from written and published sources: to explain and recount the how and why and to provide a level of detail and richness not available in other materials.

The first phase (The Bob Dole Oral History Project) was conducted from 2002-2004. Interviewees include Kansas-based legislators, Dole volunteers, campaign workers, opposition candidates, and others who worked directly with Dole during his years in both the House of Representatives and in the Senate. To learn more about this phase and to see a list of interviewees, please review the finding aid for the collection.

The second phase (The Dole Legacy: Leadership in the U.S. Senate) was conducted from 2007-2009. Interviewees include Senator Dole, Senate and House colleagues, key staffers and aides, high-ranking campaign personnel, and others who worked with Senator Dole and witnessed firsthand his leadership skills in the Senate. To learn more about this phase and to access the oral histories directly, follow the link below.

The Dole Institute Oral History Project was funded through generous support from the Andreas Family Foundation.