Elizabeth Hanford "Liddy" Dole was born July 29, 1936 in Salisbury, North Carolina. Born Elizabeth Hanford, she attended Duke University, graduating in 1958, obtaining a master's degree in education from Harvard University in 1960 and a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1965. She married Senator Robert J. Dole as his second wife on December 6, 1975. She moved to Washington, DC as a Democrat in 1966, working on issues concerning the handicapped. She was deputy director of the Office of Consumer Affairs at the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. In 1968 she became an independent and worked in the Nixon White House as executive director of the President's Committee for Consumer Interests. From 1971 to 1973, she served as the assistant to Nixon's advisor on consumer affairs. Nixon appointed her to a seven-year term on the Federal Trade Commission. In 1975, she became a Republican. Dole served as the eighth Secretary of Transportation from February 7, 1983 to September 30, 1987. As Secretary, she highlighted many safety-related issues, resulting in deadlines for installing air bags and other passive restraints in motor vehicles, major increases in seat belt usage by the public, and incentives to manufacturers to equip new cars with air bags. She helped to engineer the transfer of Washington's National and Dulles Airports from the FAA to a regional authority, and was a leader in privatizing federal assets, including the $1.9 billion sale of Conrail. One of her most famous accomplishments during her tenure was the mandatory implementation of the third brake light on all passenger cars. Dole served as Secretary of Labor from January 25, 1989 to November 23, 1990. While Secretary, she negotiated a raise in the minimum wage and youth training wage. She appointed the Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills, which prepared national competency guidelines. She initiated efforts to break the "glass ceiling" restricting movement of women and minorities into high executive positions. She obtained agreement by parties to the Pittston, Virginia, coal strike to accept mediation which led to a settlement. From 1991 to January 1999 she was president of the American Red Cross. She was elected to the United States Senate in November 2002 to represent North Carolina for a term ending in 2009.
From the description of Dole, Elizabeth Hanford, 1936- (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration). naId: 10568276