Aggressively questions Anita Hill during Clarence Thomas' Supreme Court nomination hearing.
Loses GOP Senate primary.
Graduates Yale Law School
Loses election for Philadelphia mayor.
Senate term officially ends.
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.
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.
Elected to fourth term in Senate.
Announces he is changing party registration from Republican to Democrat.
Announces candidacy for president. Suspends campaign later that year amid fundraising difficulties.
Marries Joan Lois Levy, with whom he has two sons, Shanin and Stephen. (Watch Video)
Elected to third term in Senate.
Helps defeat President Ronald Reagan's Supreme Court nomination of Robert H. Bork.
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.
Begins two-year term as chairman of Senate Judiciary Committee.
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.
Senator Specter passes away.
Runs successfully on Republican ticket for Philadelphia district attorney even though he was a Democrat.
Major events in the timeline of Arlen Specter
Specter takes last vote in Senate.
Elected to second term as district attorney.
Votes for Democrats’ economic stimulus package, inflaming GOP sentiment against him.
Named deputy sheriff of Sedgewick County, documented in “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” as youngest deputy sheriff in United States history.