Specter, Arlen, 1930-2012

Hide Profile

Arlen Specter (February 12, 1930 – October 14, 2012) was an American lawyer, author and politician. Originally a member of the Democratic Party, Specter became a Republican to successfully run for District Attorney of Philadelphia, serving in that office from 1966 to 1974. In 1980, Specter was elected to the first of five terms in the U.S. Senate representing Pennsylvania. In 2009, Specter re-joined the Democratic Party. He is the longest-serving senator from Pennsylvania, having represented the state for 30 years.

Born in Wichita, Kansas, he grew up there and in Russell, Kansas. After graduating from Russell High School, Specter studied at the University of Oklahoma, later transferring to the University of Pennsylvania and earning a B.A. there. During the Korean War, he served stateside in the United States Air Force from 1951 to 1953 and obtained the rank of first lieutenant as an officer in the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. Following the war, Specter attended Yale Law School, graduating in 1956. He was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar in 1956 and commenced practice in Philadelphia and ultimately served as assistant district attorney of Philadelphia from 1959 to 1964. After serving as assistant counsel for the Warren Commission, Specter left the Democratic Party to run successfully as a Republican for District Attorney of Philadelphia, serving two terms before being defeated. He lost the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate in 1976 and the Republican primary for Governor of Pennsylvania in 1978. He successfully ran for the U.S. Senate in 1980.

During his 30-year Senate career, Specter staked out a spot in the political center. He supported affirmative action and LGBT rights, voted in favor of the bill establishing Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a federal holiday and the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, and supported a woman's right to choose but strongly opposed most gun control measures and for the Supreme Court nominations of Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, and Samuel Alito. In 2006, he was selected by Time as one of America's Ten Best Senators. After re-joining the Democratic Party, Specter lost his 2010 re-election bid in the Democratic primary to former U.S. Navy vice admiral Joe Sestak, who then lost to Republican Pat Toomey in the general election. Toomey succeeded Specter on January 3, 2011.

Diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in early 2005, he continued his work in the Senate while undergoing chemotherapy. He died from complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma on October 14, 2012.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Specter, Arlen. Correspondence to Johan Thorsten Sellin, 1973. University of Pennsylvania Library
referencedIn Phillips, Walter Massey, 1912-1985. Oral history project, 1975-1980. Temple University Libraries, Paley Library
referencedIn Pew Charitable Trusts. Office of the Executive Director. Records of Rebecca W. Rimel, 1988- Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn Records, (inclusive), (bulk), 1959-2002, 1966-1998 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Harvard Law School Forums Records Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Livingston, Joseph A. Papers, 1942-1988. Temple University Libraries, Paley Library
referencedIn Concerned Residents of the Youghiogheny. Records of Concerned Residents of the Youghiogheny, 1968-2004. University of Pittsburgh
referencedIn Guide to the Daily Worker and Daily World Photographs Collection, 1920-2001 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn Kranzel, Isadore, 1932-. Papers, 1967-1982. Historical Society of Pennsylvania
creatorOf Byrd, Harry Flood, 1914-. Harry Flood Byrd, Jr. papers, [1920?], 1960, 1966, 1982-2005. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Specter, Arlen. Correspondence to Gretel Ormandy, 1995. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Binzen, Peter. Papers, 1958-1978. Temple University Libraries, Paley Library
referencedIn Pew Charitable Trusts. Office of the President. Records of Rebecca W. Rimel, 1994-1997. Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn Juanita Kidd Stout papers, 1873-1998 Library of Congress
referencedIn October 1995 (#4063) Gerald R. Ford Library
referencedIn National Organization for Women. Records: Series XVII-XXXII, 1967-1996. Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Scott, Hugh, 1900-1994. Papers of Hugh Scott [manuscript], 1944-1981. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Mon-Valley Unemployed Committee. Mon-Valley Unemployed Committee collection, 1973-1998. University of Pittsburgh
creatorOf United States. Congress. Senate. Correspondence to Chaim Potok, 1993-1994 University of Pennsylvania, Archives & Records Center
referencedIn Edward G. Ramberg Papers, 1916-1994 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Specter, Arlen. [Letters], 1982 March 4 and October 7, 1982, Washington, D.C. [to] Diana Alten. Haverford College Library
referencedIn Juanita Kidd Stout Papers, 1873-1998, (bulk 1948-1997) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Scott, Hugh, 1900-1994. Papers of Hugh Scott, 1681-1987 (bulk 1917-1987) [manuscript]. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn General Records of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. 1931 - 2003. Central Photograph Files National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Alexander, F. O. (Franklin Osborne). Political cartoons, 1951-1967. Temple University Libraries, Paley Library
creatorOf Specter, Arlen. Arlen Specter : commercials, 1976-1992. University of Oklahoma, Political Community Archives
referencedIn Currier, David P.,. Arlen Spector presidential campaign, 1996 1994-1996. NHAIS, NH Automated Information System
referencedIn Berger, Raoul. Raoul Berger Papers. 1921-2000. Harvard Law School Library Langdell Hall Cambridge, MA 02138
referencedIn Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994. Letter to Hugh Scott and Scott's reply [manuscript], 1985 February 2 and March 12. University of Virginia. Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Alexander, F. O. (Franklin Osborne) person
associatedWith Alten, Diana. person
associatedWith Berger, Raoul, 1901- person
associatedWith Binzen, Peter. person
associatedWith Byrd, Harry Flood, 1914- person
associatedWith Communist Party of the United States of America. corporateBody
associatedWith Concerned Residents of the Youghiogheny. corporateBody
employeeOf Dechert Price & Rhoads corporateBody
correspondedWith Harvard Law School Forum corporateBody
associatedWith Kranzel, Isadore, 1932-. person
associatedWith Livingston, Joseph A. person
associatedWith Mon-Valley Unemployed Committee. corporateBody
associatedWith National Organization for Women. corporateBody
associatedWith Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994. person
associatedWith Ormandy, Gretel. person
associatedWith Pew Charitable Trusts. Office of the Executive Director. corporateBody
associatedWith Pew Charitable Trusts. Office of the President. corporateBody
associatedWith Philadelphia (Pa.). Office of District Attorney. corporateBody
associatedWith Phillips, Walter Massey, 1912-1985. person
associatedWith Ramberg, E. G., (Edward Granville), 1907- person
associatedWith Scott, Hugh, 1900-1994. person
correspondedWith Stout, Juanita Kidd, 1919-1998. person
memberOf United States. Air Force corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Congress. Senate. corporateBody
almaMaterOf University of Oklahoma. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Oklahoma. Political Commercial Archive. corporateBody
alumnusOrAlumnaOf University of Pennsylvania. corporateBody
alumnusOrAlumnaOf Yale Law School corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Wichita KS US
Norman OK US
Russell KS US
Philadelphia PA US
Subject
Radio advertising
Television advertising
Advertising, political
Occupation
Lawyers
Military officers
Senators, U.S. Congress
City Government Official
Activity

Person

Birth 1930-02-12

Death 2012-10-14

Male

Americans

English

Information

Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6z140t4

Ark ID: w6z140t4

SNAC ID: 85812596