Elizabeth Dole was born in Salisbury, North Carolina on July 29, 1936. She graduated with distinction from Duke University in 1958 and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She earned a degree from Harvard Law School in 1965 and also holds a master's degree in education and government from Harvard.
From 1969 to 1973, Dole served as deputy assistant to President Richard M. Nixon for Consumer Affairs, beginning a career of dedication to public safety, for which she received the National Safety Council's Distinguished Service Award in 1989. Her resume includes six years (1973-1979) as a member of the Federal Trade Commission and two years (1981-1983) as assistant to President Ronald Reagan for Public Liaison. In February 1983, Dole joined President Reagan's cabinet as secretary of Transportation–the first woman to hold that position. She was sworn in by President George H.W. Bush as the nation's twentieth secretary of Labor in January 1989. She worked to increase safety and health in the workplace, advocated upgrading the skills of the American workforce, and played a key role in resolving the bitter 11-month Pittston Coal Strike in southwest Virginia.
Dole served as president of the American Red Cross from 1991 through 1999. In January 1999, she sought the Republican presidential nomination. In 2001, Dole traveled to El Salvador with Project Roundhouse, an organization which funds construction of sturdy, inexpensive, easily built, earthquake-resistant round houses in Central America, where thousands have lost their homes to hurricanes and earthquakes. She currently serves as the national director of Education and Information for Hospice.
Dole's awards are numerous, ranging from honors for civic service and leadership in government to accolades for her charitable commitments and dedication to issues surrounding women in the workplace. In 1991, she was honored with the prestigious North Carolina Award from Governor James Martin. She was named "North Carolinian of the Year" by the North Carolina Press Association in 1993. Also in 1993, Women Executives in State Government honored Dole with its Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1998, she received the Humanitarian Award from the National Commission Against Drunk Driving. That same year, she was selected for induction into the Safety and Health Hall of Fame International for her numerous transportation, workplace, and blood safety accomplishments. She has also received the Foreign Policy Association Medal and the Radcliffe College Medal for her outstanding accomplishments. Dole was awarded the National Religious Broadcasters' 1999 Board of Directors Award. In 1995, she received Churchwoman of the Year honors by Religious Heritage of America, and in 1996 the Christian Woman of the Year Association named her Christian Woman of the Year. Dole was honored by the League of Women Voters as the recipient of the Leadership Award in 1994, and in 1995 she received the Raoul Wallenberg Award for Humanitarian Service. She has received honorary doctorate degrees from 40 colleges and universities. Dole served on the Duke University Board of Trustees from 1974 to 1985 and Board of Overseers for Harvard University from 1990 to 1996.
Alphabetical Listing of Senators