Former Senate Majority Leader and 1996 Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole turns 90 years old today.  Dole has largely been out of the political mix for the last decade or so -- though he did make headlines last month thanks to his critique of his own party -- but he is a first ballot Fix political Hall of Famer. (And, yes, we have a political Hall of Fame -- of course.)

Bob Dole and Pat Robertson. Mark Wilson/AP

Dole's story is an amazing one and one that not enough people know.  Today is a good day then to remember it -- or to get familiar with it. The best way to do that  -- as almost always when it comes to politics -- is to read Richard Ben Cramer's "What It Takes".

Ben Cramer, who passed away last year, captured Dole perfectly -- a man who, after a horrific injury in World War II, literally willed himself back to wellness and then not only into office but within range of the White House.

While you should read every word that Ben Cramer wrote about Dole, here's an excerpt we found online (thanks Amazon!).

Buy the book.