Bob Dole

‘An Honor to Call Him a Friend:' Illinois Political Leaders React to Bob Dole's Death

File photo.

Political leaders from across the Chicago area and state of Illinois shared memories and tributes to former Senate majority leader Bob Dole who died early Sunday, naming him a war hero and acclaimed Republican leader.

His wife, Elizabeth Dole, said in an announcement posted on social media that he died early Sunday morning in his sleep. He was 98.

Dole announced in February 2021 that he’d been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. During his 36-year career on Capitol Hill, Dole became one of the most influential legislators and party leaders in the Senate, combining a talent for compromise with a caustic wit, which he often turned on himself but didn’t hesitate to turn on others, too.

Throughout the day on Sunday, Republican and Democratic leaders, including Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, shared reactions on social media to Dole's death.