Richest PoliticiansRepublicans
Net Worth:
$40 Million
Jul 29, 1936 (87 years old)
United States of America
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What is Elizabeth Dole's Net Worth?

Elizabeth Dole is an American politician who has a net worth of $40 million. Elizabeth was married to the former Senator Bob Dole from 1975 until his death in December 2021. Elizabeth is a longstanding member of the Republican Party. She served in both the Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush presidential administrations. She served as a Senator from 2003 to 2009, director of the FTC from 1973 to 1979, Secretary of Transportation from 1983 to 1987 and Secretary of Labor from 1989 to 1990. In a six-year period from 2003 to 2009 was a member of the U.S. Senate, becoming the first female Senator to represent North Carolina. She is also the former chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Financial Disclosures

In 1996, during Bob's Presidential campaign, the Doles estimated their net worth to be $2.3 to $7.7 million. That's the same as around $4 – $13 million in today's dollars. At the time Bob was earning a $148,000 salary as a Senator, $10,000 per year in speaking fees and $18,660 in military retirement benefits. Elizabeth on the other hand was earning north of $100,000 per year in speaking fees, earning around $900,000 from speaking fees in a three year period alone between 1991 and 1994. She donated much of her earnings to the Red Cross.

In her 2007 Senate financial disclosure, Elizabeth estimated that she and Bob were worth a minimum of $14 million and a maximum of $49 million.

Early Life

She was born Mary Elizabeth Alexander Hanford on July 29, 1936, in Salisbury, North Carolina. After finishing high school, Dole attended Duke University and completed a degree in political science. While at Duke, she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, was in the chapel choir, and was the president of the women's student government association. After graduating from Duke, she did post-graduate work at Oxford in 1959. She then took a job as a student teacher at Melrose High School in Massachusetts for a year. She also enrolled in a master's degree program in education at Harvard University, followed by the law program. She earned a J.D. from Harvard in 1965. She was one of 24 women in a class of 550 students.


Dole was involved in politics while still in school. She campaigned for the Kennedy-Johnson presidential ticket in 1960. In 1967, she began working as a staff assistant to the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare in the Lyndon B. Johnson administration. When Richard Nixon replaced Johnson as president, Dole served as deputy assistant to President Nixon for consumer affairs from 1969 to 1973. In 1973, she was appointed to a seven-year term on the Federal Trade Commission. She later resigned from the post to campaign for her husband, Bob Dole, who ran for president in 1980.

In 1981, she served as the director of the White House Office of Public Liaison until 1983. She then served as the United States Secretary of Transportation from 1983 to 1987 under Ronald Reagan. She was also tasked with chairing various committees that sought to reform federal and state laws to ensure equal rights for women. From 1989 to 1990, she served as the United States Secretary of Labor under President George H. W. Bush. She became the first woman to serve in two different Cabinet positions in the administrations of two presidents. Her tenure in both roles focused on improving public safety and workplace safety and health.

In 1991, Dole became the president of the American Red Cross. She served in that role until 1999. She was only the second woman to serve as president since Clara Barton founded the organization in 1881. She restructured the organization during her eight years as president and transformed the way the Red Cross collects, tests, and distributes one-half of the nation's blood supply.

In 1999, Dole ran for the Republican nomination in the 2000 United States presidential election. She ultimately placed third, behind George W. Bush and Steve Forbes, in some polls and in second place in others. She withdrew from the race before the primaries, largely due to inadequate fundraising. She was considered by George W. Bush for his vice presidential nominee, though he ultimately chose Dick Cheney.

Elizabeth Dole

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In late 2001, Dole moved from D.C. to Salisbury, North Carolina to seek election to the U.S. Senate after Senator Jesse Helms retired. She won the Republican primary with 80% of the vote and then defeated the Democratic opponent in the general election to take the Senate seat. In 2004, she became chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, becoming the first woman to ever chair the NRSC. She was later replaced by Senator John Ensign of Nevada in 2006.

While a Senator, Dole was a member of a number of committees including the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services, the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, the U.S. Senate Committee on Aging, and the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Dole was generally considered to be conservative in her viewpoints, which is reflected in her voting record.

Dole was considered a favorite for reelection to her Senate seat in 2008. She ran against the Democratic opponent, Kay Hagan. However, after running an attack ad against Hagan, her popularity slipped and she lost in the 2008 election by a wider than expected margin. She officially vacated her Senate seat in 2009.

Following her political career, Dole established the Elizabeth Dole Foundation in 2012. The organization is dedicated to providing resources and help to the caregivers of wounded military members. It selects military and veteran caregivers from each state to serve a two-year Fellowship with the Foundation. In 2022, the Foundation began working with the civil rights icon and veteran Bobby Grier. Actor Tom Hanks has also joined the Foundation's Hidden Heroes Campaign to raise awareness.

Dole has authored two books over her lifetime – "The Doles: Unlimited Partners" and "Hearts Touched by Fire: My 500 Inspirational Quotations." She has also been the subject of two books – "Elizabeth Dole: A Leader in Washington" and "Elizabeth Hanford Dole: Speaking from the Heart."

Personal Life

Dole met her future husband, Bob Dole, in the spring of 1972 at a meeting arranged by her then boss and mentor, Virginia Knauer. They began dating and then married in December of 1975 in the Washington National Cathedral. They had no children together though Dole is the stepmother to her husband's daughter, Robin, from his first marriage. She is a regular church-goer and attended the National Presbyterian Church in D.C. beginning in 1996.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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