[AllPolitics - RNC '96 Players]

The Hanfords

A brief look at Elizabeth Dole's family

Elizabeth Dole's immediate family includes her mother, Mary Ella (Cathey) Hanford and a brother, John Hanford, both of whom still live in the small southern town of Salisbury, North Carolina, where Elizabeth grew up.

NAME: John Hanford
RELATIONSHIP: Father (died in 1981)

Elizabeth's father, John Hanford, built a successful wholesale flower business and, according to Elizabeth, looked and acted much like Harry Truman. She says her father was a fiscal conservative and angry at Roosevelt's spending but remained a registered Democrat so he could participate in North Carolina's primaries, where the Democratic winner almost always won the general election. John Hanford changed his registration to Republican when Eisenhower made his first run for the presidency.

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NAME: Mary Hanford
RELATIONSHIP: Elizabeth Dole's mother

Mary Hanford is now 95 and has lived her entire life in Salisbury, North Carolina. Elizabeth calls her "my best friend" and, together with her husband, made a highly publicized visit with her in the spring of 1996. Mary Hanford abandoned her chance to study music at New York's prestigious Julliard and pursue a career in music to marry John Hanford. This decision, according to Elizabeth, allowed her to pour "all the more love and energy into the lives of her children." She encouraged Elizabeth to study home economics at college, and was concerned when she opted to study political science. (A professor friend had to tell her what political science was.) Mary and John Hanford had hoped Elizabeth would marry and return to Salsbury -- they even bought the lot next to their house for her to build her own home. Mary Hanford is active in local historic restoration projects and in the Methodist church. Elizabeth says she learned the virtue of giving your all to anything you do from her mother.

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NAME: John Hanford
RELATIONSHIP: Elizabeth Dole's brother

Elizabeth's brother, John, is 13 years older than Elizabeth and the same age as Bob Dole. He and his wife, Bunny, have taken over the family's floral business. Elizabeth describes him as having the "patience of Job and the deadpan humor of Jack Benny." She idolized him when she was a child. He was a gifted musician as a child and attended Duke University.

Elizabeth also has two nephews with whom she is close. One is John Hanford, who works for Sen. Richard Lugar. The other is Jody, who works for the Campus Crusade for Christ.

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(Source: "Unlimited Partners"; Current Biography 1987)

(NOTE: The Dole campaign would not release the birth dates of all family members. If an age is not indicated in a bio, it was not available through alternate sources)

Pathfinder Personal Edition
American Plastics Council

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