Mr. Dole is also the recipient of two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star for his service in the Army in World War II, when he was severely wounded in Italy.
"He knows about grit", said Trump.
He said Dole lived his life as "part of something much greater than himself". His wife, Elizabeth Dole, also a former USA senator, then read a prepared speech that emphasized taking the "long view" of American leadership, including the need for compromise.
Dole was severely injured while serving in Italy, leading to him having nearly no use of his right hand.
Ryan said Dole is "one of the greatest allies Americans have ever known".
"Bob Dole always stood by what is just and what is right. [He's ] as honorable as they come", he said.
Dole's website, BobDole.org, highlights his decades of experience in public life, including his role as a US senator from Kansas from 1969-1996. Other Congressional Gold Medal Senate honorees include Senators Robert Kennedy, John Glenn and Harry Truman.
The President joined Republican and Democratic leaders in praising the 94-year-old former Republican presidential nominee on Capitol Hill Wednesday, four months after signing into law the bill awarding Dole the medal in recognition of his service to the United States "as a soldier, legislator and statesman".
As Senate Minority and later Majority Leader for nine years, Dole earned respect from liberals and conservatives as a dealmaker and voice of moderation.
"What an astounding record of service", Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer of NY said, applauding his longtime colleague's "trademark wit".
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY noted to laughter that Mr. Dole was the person credited with the joke that the most unsafe place in Washington was between Mr. Schumer and a TV camera.
Dole is married to former Sen.
Bob Dole, who sometimes called himself "Bob Dole", displayed some trademark wit in thanking the other speakers for the "kind words".