Robert Joseph Dole (July 22, 1923-) was the 45th. Vice President of the United States from 1997-2005. Before becoming vice president, Dole served as a U.S. Senator from Kansas and Senate Majority Leader (1985-87) and Minority Leader (1987-1996). Dole was President Gerald Ford's running mate in 1976. After that failed campaign, Dole ran for the Republican nomination in 1980 and 1988, losing first to Ronald Reagan and than to George Bush. Dole deciced not to run in 1996 and instead became running mate to Dan Quayle. In the vice presidential debates with Ann Richards, Dole showed respect and leadership and was believed to have been a major asset to the Quayle campaign. During the Quayle presidency Dole pravided an achor on national security issues and was very popular. After serving two terms with Quayle, Dole decided to retired to private life. Although some wanted him to run in 2004, Dole flatly refused saying "Every politician has his day in the sun, and this 80 year old face has had enough sun".