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Elizabeth Dole Poster

Biography

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Overview (3)

Date of Birth 29 July 1936Salisbury, North Carolina, USA
Birth NameMary Elizabeth Alexandria Hanford
Nickname Liddy

Mini Bio (1)

Elizabeth Dole was born Salisbury, North Carolina, during The Great Depression. Her parents, John Van Hanford and Mary Ella Cathey, were the owners of a successful floral business and the family didn't suffer the financial hardships of so many around them. Her parents were believers in striving for excellence and friendly competition, and instilled those beliefs in Elizabeth and her older brother, John. Nicknamed Libby, she showed leadership traits from an early age and in school was a high achiever. She attended Duke University and excelled there, also, becoming Student Body President. Then she attended Harvard, at a time when few women did, and earned a Master in Education and then a law degree from Harvard Law School.

After graduating, she moved to Washington, D.C., and found work for the government. Her first White House job was as a staff assistant in the Dept. of Health, Education & Welfare. In 1968 she was appointed legislative assistant to Betty Furness, Consumer Affairs Advisor to President Lyndon Johnson. In 1973, she was appointed by President'Richard Nixon' to the Federal Trade Commission.

Shortly before her appointment, she met U.S. Senator Bob Dole at the 1972 Republican National Convention. They were initially friendly acquaintances, but a friendship ensued, which gradually became a courtship, and they married in 1975. They immediately became on of Washington, D.C.'s premier power couples. In 1980, Bob Dole ran for President for the first time, but was too preoccupied with Senate duties to campaign extensively, and his candidacy fizzled out quickly. That year, Ronald Reagan was elected President.

Elizabeth Dole quickly became a visible member of the new Reagan Administration. Elizabeth played a prominent role in the transition to the Reagan White House. In 1981, she was appointed Soecial Assistant for Public Liaison, in charge of carrying the Administration's communications to business and labor groups. In 1983, Reagan appointed her as U.S. Secretary of Transportation. During her four years in this post, Elizabeth Dole was an active, accomplished Secretary. She promoted intitatives regarding air bags for automobiles, brake lights on the rear windshields of cars, and improved airline safety

In 1987, her husband launched anther Presidential campaign, and she resigned to help his campaign. Though it showed initial promise, it imploded after the he lost the New Hampshire primary to then-Vice President George Bush, who went on to win the general election. Elizabeth Dole went on to serve in the Bush administration as Secretary of Labor, which she was appointed to in 1988, immediately after the election. There, she helped pass an increase in the minimum wage. And while she wasn't considered an ally of organized labor, they did credit her for being accessible. In late 1990, she resigned to become President of the American Red Cross, and assumed that post in February of 1991. She took an unpaid leave of absence as her husband ran for President again in 1996. This time he won the nomination, but was defeated in the general election by President Bill Clinton. In that election, voters thought more highly of her than of First Lady Hillary Clinton, but her husband ran a lackluster campaign and was heavily outspent. In retrospect, analysts were surprised he didn't lose by a wider margin than he did.

She returned to the American Red Cross in 1997, but resigned in 1999 to seek the Republican Presidential nomination. She was noted as the first woman to be a credible candidate for President, but her campaign was completely overshadowed by overwhelming Republican for then-Texas Governor George W. Bush, and she dropped out of the race a few months later and endorsed Bush. She decided not to serve in this Presidential administration and retired to private life. But in 2001, elderly U.S. Senator Jesse Helms announced his retirement. In the autumn of that year, Elizabeth Dole explored running, and with the wholehearted support of her husband, she ran. Initially the heavy favorite to win, she was thrown on the defensive and lost ground in the polls to former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles. But in October of 2002, she rebounded and won the election. In 2005, she was appointed by her fellow Republican Sentators to Chair the National Republican Senatorial Committee, to help more Republicans win U.S. Senate elections in the 2006 elections. However, the 2006 elections were a major setback for Republicans and Democrats regained control of the U.S. Senate. In the Senate, Dole complied a conservative record and maintained a high profile in Washington, D.C. However, she did not frequently visit North Carolina, and took for granted her high personal approval ratings. As the year 2008 approached, Bush had become highly unpopular even in conservative states like North Carolina and Democrats saw an opening. Democratic state Senator Kay Hagan entered the race, and the novelty of two credible women candidates running against each other in the South gave Hagan free publicity. Democrats funded Hagan heavily and she quickly pulled even with Dole in the polls. By September, the race had become increasingly hostile, with numerous negative ads airing across the state. In the 2008 elections in North Carolina, Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama surprised everyone by narrowly winning the state, and Dole was defeated for reelection. She has indicated that this is her last campaign and that she will now retire to private life.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: annynomous

Spouse (1)

Bob Dole (6 December 1975 - present)

Trivia (6)

She became a Republican in 1975.
She earned a bachelor's degree from Duke University in 1958, a master's degree from Harvard University in 1960, and a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1965.
She was U.S. Secretary of Transportation from 1983 to 1987 and U.S. Secretary of Labor from 1989 to 1990.
She was president of the American Red Cross from 1991 to 2000.
U.S. Senator from North Carolina (2003- ).
As the Secretary of Labor, her office doubled for the FBI director's office in The Silence of the Lambs (1991).

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