Dole first tried to run for president in 1980 but did not secure the Republican nomination. Winning candidate Ronald Reagan, a former Hollywood actor, was chosen instead and won the U.S. election the following year. Dole announced his second campaign for president in 1988, but fellow Republican leader George H. W. Bush ultimately secured the party’s nomination and was later elected president of the United States, serving one term until Clinton beat him in the 1992 ballot.
Amid his own battle against Clinton for the presidency in 1996, Dole resigned as a senator, saying at the time that he had “nowhere to go but the White House or home,” per The New York Times.
When Dole won the Midwestern primaries, he became the oldest presidential nominee at the age of 73 years. During his acceptance speech, he said, “Let me be the bridge to an America that only the unknowing call myth. Let me be the bridge to a time of tranquillity, faith, and confidence in action.”
After retiring from politics, Dole started a new chapter, starring in television commercials for brands such as Viagra, Visa and Pepsi—appearing in the company’s 2001 Super Bowl ad starring Britney Spears.
According to NBC News, Dole also continued his commitment to helping fellow war veterans and returned to his legal career, working as special counsel for the international law firm Alston & Bird.