WATERTOWN, MA – The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) will present Senator Robert Dole with the ANCA Lifetime Achievement Award during the Capitol Hill Observance commemorating the Armenian Genocide.
The solemn observance, co-hosted by Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Representative Joseph Knollenberg (R-MI), will take place on the evening of Tuesday, May 8th, in the historic Senate Caucus Room, beginning at 5:30 pm.
Throughout his years of Congressional service, and in the years since he left office, Senator Dole has been a leading advocate of official U.S. Armenian Genocide recognition and a broad range of issues of concern to Armenian Americans. Among his most notable efforts were his pioneering role in securing U.S. aid to Armenia following the 1988 earthquake and his 1990 campaign to win passage of a Senate Armenian Genocide resolution. Senator Dole is also widely respected for authoring and securing passage of the Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act in response to Turkey’s blockade of U.S. humanitarian aid to Armenia. Senator Dole helped enact and later defended Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act in order to pressure Azerbaijan to lift its illegal blockades of Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh.
“Throughout his distinguished career in public service, Senator Dole has consistently spearheaded legislative initiatives to ensure that the United States recognize the Armenian Genocide,” said Grace Kehetian Kulegian, ANCA Eastern Region Executive Director. “Through the presentation of the ANCA Freedom Award for Lifetime Achievement, we hope, in some small way, to acknowledge and express our appreciation for all that he has done to help Armenia, Nagorno Karabagh, and the Armenian American community.”
“It is a great honor to have Senator Dole join with his former Congressional colleagues in commemorating the 86th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide,” remarked ANCA Western Region Executive Director Alex Sardar. “The annual ANCA Capitol Hill Genocide Observance, now in its seventh year, allows Armenian American community members and legislators alike, the opportunity to renew their commitment to proper U.S. commemoration of this crime against humanity.”
Senator Dole was first elected to the US Senate in 1968, after serving four consecutive terms in the House of Representatives. At age 26, he entered public office for the first time as a member of the Kansas House of Representatives. Two years later, he became Russell County’s prosecuting attorney, an office he held until his 1960 election to Congress. Senator Dole later became Republican National Chairman and in the 1976 presidential election he was Gerald Ford’s running mate.
Born in Russell, Kansas in 1923, Senator Dole attended the University of Kansas. During World War II, he left premedical studies at the University of Kansas to enlist in the Army. Rising quickly to a position of command, he became a leader in the 10th Mountain Division in Italy. In 1945, he was gravely wounded on the battlefield and was later twice decorated for heroic achievement. A result of his injuries, he spent 39 months in hospitals, an experience that made him a lifelong advocate for veterans and the disabled.
In 1948 he was honorably discharged from the Army with the rank of Captain. Senator Dole is married to Elizabeth Hanford Dole, a former candidate for President, cabinet secretary, and president of the American Red Cross.