Today, Senator Bob Dole joins other American leaders like Thomas Edison, Rosa Parks, and poet Robert Frost as a recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal—the highest award bestowed by the U.S. Congress. First awarded to George Washington in 1776, the Congressional Gold Medal honors individuals whose achievements have had a lasting impact on the nation.
As a decorated World War II veteran and the longest-serving Republican leader in Congress, Dole has dedicated his life to public service. Among his achievements, his lifelong work as an advocate for the world’s hungry remains one of his most enduring legacies. Having first witnessed hunger and poverty as a child during the Great Depression and, later, while serving in war-ravaged Europe during World War II, Dole played a lead role in shaping America’s efforts to alleviate hunger, both at home and abroad.
Nearly every U.S. government program designed to prevent and address hunger bears his imprint. From the national school lunch program to WIC and SNAP, Dole’s deep commitment and tireless efforts to end hunger have become central pillars of our country’s safety net system and a profound statement about our values as Americans.
His leadership also provides a model of bipartisan collaboration. Together with fellow anti-hunger champion Senator George McGovern, Dole transformed how the U.S. feeds the most vulnerable among us. Though their views on a range of policies may have differed, they were united in the belief that no child—anywhere in the world—should suffer from hunger. Both worked within their respective parties to build a lasting, bipartisan commitment to end the scourge of hunger.