Former American Senator and former Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole has died at the age of 98.

He fell asleep peacefully on Sunday morning, said the foundation of his wife Elizabeth.

As an MP, Senator, and presidential candidate, Dole has helped shape American politics for decades.

Dole ran as President Gerald Ford's runner-up in the 1976 election, but Democrat Jimmy Carter prevailed in the vote.

In the 1996 presidential election he ran against the then incumbent Democrat Bill Clinton, who was able to secure a second term.

After that, Dole withdrew from politics.

Dole served in the US military during World War II and was wounded in Italy.

He later studied law, became a public prosecutor and went into politics as a member of parliament as early as 1960.

Eight years later he was first elected to the Senate for his home state of Kansas.

For many years in his three decades in the Senate, he served as leader of the Republican parliamentary group.

Together with the Republican minority leader in the House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich, he tried successfully from 1993 to prevent the policies of the new President Clinton.

The Republican opposition also fell victim to the health care reform that Clinton was seeking.

From 1995 to mid-1996, Dole was the majority leader in the Senate - and was now able to slow down Clinton's policies much more effectively before he decided to run against him and gave up his Senate mandate.