Bob Dole to lie in state at Capitol on Thursday as nation honors US senator, war hero

On Friday, there will be a funeral at the Washington National Cathedral.

Former GOP Sen. Bob Dole -- a decorated World War II veteran wounded in action who went on to represent Kansas in Congress for 36 years -- will be remembered at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday ahead of a funeral on Friday at the Washington National Cathedral.

Dole died in his sleep Sunday morning, according to his family. He was 98.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced on Monday that Dole -- known as one of the "last lions of the Senate" -- will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Thursday, an honor reserved for the most revered Americans.

"From the Well of the House to the Floor of the Senate, as a presidential candidate and as an elder statesman, he was one of the foremost advocates for our Servicemembers, veterans and military families," Pelosi said in a statement. "May it be a comfort to his loving wife, his dear daughter and all his loved ones that a grateful nation joins them in mourning during this sad time."

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and concerns over the omicron variant, the ceremony will be open only to invited guests, lawmakers said, but Americans can stream the service online.

"Whatever their politics, anyone who saw Bob Dole in action had to admire his character and his profound patriotism," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who recently passed Dole's record as one of the longest-serving Republican Senate leaders in history. "Those of us who were lucky to know Bob well ourselves admired him even more. A bright light of patriotic good cheer burned all the way from Bob's teenage combat heroics through his whole career in Washington and through the years since."

President Joe Biden ordered all flags to be flown at half-staff through Thursday to honor Dole.

While an Army officer in World War II, Dole was severely wounded in action and left with limited mobility in his right arm -- but he persevered. Dole went on to graduate law school, serve in the Kansas state legislature and represent his home state for four terms in the House of Representatives and five terms in the Senate. He led the Senate Republican Conference for more than a decade.

In Congress, he helped shape tax and foreign policy, as well as govenment farm and nutrition programs. He was an advocate for the rights of veterans and Americans with disabilities, spearheading the inclusion of protections against discrimination in employment, education and public services in the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990.

Dole ran three times for president, losing in primaries in 1980 to Ronald Reagan and in 1988 to George H.W. Bush. In 1996, he won the Republican party nomination but lost the general election to Bill Clinton, who was seeking a second term. Months after losing the presidential election, Clinton presented Dole with the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House.

"Those pivotal moments remain indelibly impressed in your heart and mind," he wrote in "One Soldier's Story," his memoir published in 2005. "For me, the defining period in my life was not running for the highest office in the land. It started years earlier, in a foreign country, where hardly anyone knew my name."

ABC News Political Director Rick Klein writes that Dole "did not cling to long-gone notions of what the Senate or his Republican Party was or should be" and, instead, "found a home inside the GOP from former presidents Richard Nixon to Donald Trump and everywhere in between."

Dole announced in February that he'd been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and was starting treatment.

"It is with heavy hearts we announce that Senator Robert Joseph Dole died early this morning in his sleep," the Elizabeth Dole Foundation said in a statement on Sunday. "At his death, at age 98, he had served the United States of America faithfully for 79 years."

Dole is survived by his wife of 46 years, Elizabeth, and his daughter, Robin.

ABC News' Lauren King contributed to this report.