1956:                                                                            Graduates Yale Law School

1956-1959:                                                                   Practices Private Law

1959:                                                                             Hired as an assistant district attorney in                                                                                                        Philadelphia



1967:                                                                             Loses election for Philadelphia mayor. 

1969:                                                                            Elected to second term as district attorney.

1976:                                                                             Loses GOP Senate primary.


                                                                                     Loses GOP gubernatorial primary.


1986:                                                                          Elected to second term in Senate. 

1978:                                                                          Helps defeat President Ronald Reagan's 

                                                                                  Supreme Court nomination of Robert H. Bork

1991:                                                                           Aggressively questions Anita Hill during Clarence                                                                                            Thomas' Supreme Court nomination hearing.      


                                                                                    Elected to third term in Senate. 

1995:                                                                            Announces candidacy for president. Suspends

                                                                                     campaign later that year amid fundraising                                                                                                     difficulties.  

1998:                                                                            Elected to fourth term in Senate. 



                                                                                        Begins two-year term as chairman of Senate

                                                                                        Judiciary Committee. 

February 2009: 

April 28, 2009:                                                                Announces he is changing party registration from

                                                                                        Republican to Democrat. 

May 18, 2010:                                                                  Specter loses Senate Democratic Party primary. 

December 22, 2010:                                                        Specter takes last vote in Senate. 

January 2, 2011:                                                               Senate term officially ends. 

October 14, 2012:                                                            Senator Specter passes away

Marries Joan Lois Levy, with whom he has two sons, Shanin and Stephen.

Graduates University of Pennsylvania with degree in International Relations 

Wins Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat and joins new Republican majority in the chamber.

Runs successfully on Republican ticket for Philadelphia district attorney even though he was a Democrat.

Major events in the Timeline of Arlen Specter:

Named deputy sheriff of Sedgewick County, documented in “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” as youngest deputy sheriff in United States history.

U.S. Air Force, serves as second lieutenant, Office of Special Investigations. 

Born in Wichita, Kansas, to Harry and Lillian Specter. Raised in Russell, Kansas. 

Serves on the Warren Commission, which concludes that a single bullet from a lone assassin killed President John F. Kennedy. 

Votes for Democrats’ economic stimulus package, inflaming GOP sentiment against him. 

Ekes out win in Senate GOP primary, beating U.S. Rep. Pat Toomey by 17,146 votes, or 1.6 percentage points. Wins a fifth term in November.