Dole back in hospital with fever
January 8th, 2011
09:15 PM ET
11 years ago

Dole back in hospital with fever

Washington (CNN) - Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole was in and out of Walter Reed Army Medical Center earlier this week because of an elevated temperature, but the former lawmaker disclosed Saturday that he has now been admitted to the hospital yet again after the fever returned.

In a written statement obtained by CNN, the 87-year-old Dole revealed that he was admitted to Walter Reed on Tuesday because of the initial fever.

"I was examined, treated and discharged Friday when everything looked clear," Dole said in the statement released by Alston & Bird, the law firm where he serves as special counsel. "After a recurrence of a fever I decided to stop by the George Washington University Hospital nearby then return to Walter Reed Friday evening for further examination."

Dole added, "Overall I feel good today and I am grateful for the tremendous care I have received and continue to receive at Walter Reed Army Medical Center."

The former senator spent about 10 months last year at Walter Reed recuperating from knee surgery. His stay was extended because of multiple bouts with pneumonia while he recuperated from the double knee replacement surgery.

After being badly wounded in battle during World War II, Dole was left with a paralyzed right arm and other major injuries. But he battled back to have one of the most illustrious careers in American political history, as a lawmaker known for his wisecracking nature and many bipartisan legislative victories in the House and Senate.

He was the Republican vice presidential candidate in 1976 and lost multiple bids of his own for the White House, including as the 1996 presidential nominee.

After leaving politics, Dole used his sense of humor to rake in some big dollars as a TV pitchman, filming a popular commercial for the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra, as well as a Pepsi commercial with pop star Britney Spears.

Dole has also spent countless hours greeting fellow members of "The Greatest Generation" at The National World War Two Memorial in Washington, continuing a lifelong commitment to promoting the service of military veterans. He served as co-chair of a 2007 presidential commission that investigated shoddy conditions at Walter Reed for some military veterans returning from battle in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In a long 2010 interview with CNN, however, Dole had nothing but praise for the medial attention he received in the hospital's VIP wing during the physical therapy for his knees. And he used that well-documented sense of humor to cheer up some of the young veterans who were recuperating beside him at Walter Reed.

"He's a very funny guy, so he keeps everybody around him laughing and in good spirits," said Air Force Sgt. Christopher Curtis, 32, who was in dire shape after his CV-22 Osprey crashed in Afghanistan last April.

At the time, Dole said he sympathized with Curtis and some of the other young vets returning from Afghanistan and Iraq because it reminded him of the terrible shape he found himself in back in 1945. "I couldn't move, I was in a body cast," Dole recalled. "That's all behind me, but it does give you pause. I think about, 'Jiminy – was I ever in as bad a shape as Chris.'"

For his part, Curtis said recovering alongside the former senator inspired him "knowing that I'm going through what [Dole] went through."

When Curtis told Dole that he voted for him in the losing 1996 campaign against then-President Bill Clinton, the former candidate deadpanned, "I finally found somebody that voted for me."

In the interview with CNN, Dole added that he never dwells on how close he came to be electing president.

"You've got to move on, you know life's short," Dole said. "You've got to keep pushing and realize we live in a great country. One chapter ends and another chapter starts. You keep going."

–CNN's Shawna Shepherd contributed to this report

Filed under: Bob Dole
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. the real ib

    Hope he gets along ok and is out soon.

    January 8, 2011 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  2. Robert Williams

    He is a "man's kinda man". Special, yet modest, serious when necessary and very funny when he lets us see it. Like my Dad, his generation kept us free. I wish him good health and I hope to see him celebrate and joke about being 100.

    January 8, 2011 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  3. Ben

    God Bless You, Mr. Dole.

    Feel better soon!

    January 8, 2011 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  4. Kk

    Bob dole is awesome. Really wanted him as president.

    January 8, 2011 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  5. Jason Glugla

    It is very nice that Bob Dole has healthcare.

    January 8, 2011 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  6. Bob

    Get well soon Mr. Dole..

    January 8, 2011 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  7. Derek W

    Class Acts – God Bless Mr. Dole and Sgt. Curtis –

    January 8, 2011 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  8. dfromc

    I wish & pray for a speedy recovery for Mr Dole & all our vets who sacrifice so much for us & hardly ever receive a thank you for all they have done! So I'd like to take this opportunity to say "Thank You" to all our men & women who fight daily to protect us & give us the freedom to live our lives in the greatest country!

    January 8, 2011 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  9. Jason

    I'm glad you're so pleased with the care you've received. The government sponsored healthcare you've received. You know, the sort the GOP wants to keep from the rest if america!

    I wish you well in your recovery but I saddened the Party shorts the American people in their ability to receive the same givernment healthcare you enjoy.

    January 8, 2011 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |

    I sure hope that it is just a bit of a fever and not another bout of pneumonia which he has come down with twice in the course of the past year at a certain age and health some of the elderly become extremely incapacitated when they catch Pneumonia one two many times in a row and it then becomes something of which they are unable to overcome and that would be a very big loss. He is just one of those that believe nothing can bring him down and keep him down and I hope this remains so for the time being anyways

    January 8, 2011 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  11. Me:)

    Great attitude and get well soon!
    Thank you for your service in WWII.

    January 9, 2011 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  12. ColoradoCat

    Wishing you a speedy return to good health, Mr. Dole. You're always a class act and I hope you'll be with us for many more years to come!

    January 9, 2011 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  13. Daniel

    I wish the current crop of Republican US Senators had Bob Dole's sense of humor and his genuine love of country.

    January 9, 2011 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  14. moabie

    Wish him a speedy recovery

    January 9, 2011 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  15. rude

    I am greatful for his military service. He lost the use of his arm for this country. Thank you sir.May your health return soon.

    January 9, 2011 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  16. Thomas

    Age has a way of changing people's lives. Best wishes.

    January 9, 2011 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  17. Terry P

    Congresspersons (current and former) get FREE medical – for life. And, almost $200,000.00 per year. He's got a high paying job at a very expensive law firm, and American voters are still paying his bills. Not quite fair for those struggling to make ends meet and without health insurance.

    January 9, 2011 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  18. Panties

    I love Bob Dole and his wife. He is a fantastic war hero. I wish him good health.

    January 9, 2011 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  19. JAE

    He's one of the finest republicans ever, and just like my Dad, is a WWII HERO.

    It's hard to believe my Dad is 85 and Bob Dole is 87. WOW! All the best to you Mr. Dole. Get well soon sir.

    January 9, 2011 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  20. Ian

    I will admit, as a democrat myself, there is something endearing about Dole. I hope he gets better and has a few more years kicking around inside of him.

    January 9, 2011 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  21. Rassayana Atrindh

    "Overall I feel good today and I am grateful for the tremendous care I have received and continue to receive at Walter Reed Army Medical Center." ....."You've got to keep pushing and realize we live in a great country."

    A country so great that the majority of its citizens cannot afford quality health care. How's the pedestal, Mr. Dole? Can't find fault in the system when you have some of the best medical care in the world provided on the taxpayers hard-earned nickles and dimes.

    January 9, 2011 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  22. NameJanie

    I hope Mr Dole gets well soon. I wonder what caused the fever?

    January 9, 2011 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
  23. se

    What a great great guy! Get well soon Bob.

    January 9, 2011 03:55 am at 3:55 am |
  24. Justin

    Good man; today's republicans could learn a lot from him.

    January 9, 2011 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  25. Namejesse gonzales

    Bob Dole is a gentleman and a true american....he's in my thoughts and prayers...oh by the way I'm a former Marine!!!!

    January 9, 2011 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
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