Image: Dole
J. Scott Applewhite  /  AP
Former Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., leaves the memorial service for Jack Kemp at National Cathedral in Washington on May 8.
updated 2/22/2010 6:29:35 PM ET 2010-02-22T23:29:35

Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole is recuperating at Walter Reed Army Medical Center after a bout with pneumonia, his spokesman said Monday.

Dole, 86, was admitted to the military hospital about three weeks ago with a respiratory condition, spokesman Michael Marshall said. Dole soon recovered but has remained at the hospital to undergo physical therapy for knee surgery he underwent late last year.

"Thanks to the great doctors and nurses at Walter Reed, I am making great strides, working between (therapy) sessions and hope to be fully recovered and back at the office in a few weeks," Dole said in a statement.

Marshall said the pneumonia set Dole back and that he would need more time in the hospital to regain his strength.

Dole overcame disabling war wounds to forge a 36-year political career. In the early 1990s, he underwent successful surgery for prostate cancer, and in 2001 he had surgery to treat an aneurysm.

He served four terms in the House before he was elected to the Senate in 1968. He went on to become one of GOP's most influential leaders. He retired from the Senate in 1996 to run for president against Democrat Bill Clinton.

Dole is now a lobbyist and special counsel in the law firm of Alston and Bird.

He is married to Elizabeth Hanford Dole, who also served in the Senate in a seat from North Carolina until losing re-election last year.

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