Marries Joan Lois Levy, with whom he has two sons, Shanin and Stephen. (Watch Video)
Wins Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat and joins new Republican majority in the chamber.
Begins two-year term as chairman of Senate Judiciary Committee.
Named deputy sheriff of Sedgewick County, documented in “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” as youngest deputy sheriff in United States history.
Senate term officially ends.
Born in Wichita, Kansas, to Harry and Lillian Specter. Raised in Russell, Kansas.
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Senator Specter passes away.
Loses election for Philadelphia mayor.
Runs successfully on Republican ticket for Philadelphia district attorney even though he was a Democrat.
Loses GOP gubernatorial primary.
U.S. Air Force, serves as second lieutenant, Office of Special Investigations.
Specter loses Senate Democratic Party primary.
Elected to second term in Senate.
Serves on the Warren Commission, which concludes that a single bullet from a lone assassin killed President John F. Kennedy.
Graduates University of Pennsylvania with degree in International Relations
Helps defeat President Ronald Reagan's Supreme Court nomination of Robert H. Bork.
Hired as an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia
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.
Elected to fourth term in Senate.
Votes for Democrats’ economic stimulus package, inflaming GOP sentiment against him.
Specter takes last vote in Senate.
Elected to second term as district attorney.
Announces candidacy for president. Suspends campaign later that year amid fundraising difficulties.
Loses GOP Senate primary.
Elected to third term in Senate.
Aggressively questions Anita Hill during Clarence Thomas' Supreme Court nomination hearing.
Major events in the timeline of Arlen Specter
Announces he is changing party registration from Republican to Democrat.
Graduates Yale Law School