Sam Gibbons timeline
Jan. 20, 1920: Born in Tampa.
1938: Enters the University of Florida. Joins the ROTC.
1941-45: Serves in the Army, including as a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division. He jumps into Normandy during the D-day invasion. He leaves the service as a major. Awards include the Bronze Star.
Sept. 14, 1946: Marries Martha Hanley of Tampa. They will have three sons: Cliff, Mark and Timothy.
1947: Graduates from the University of Florida law school and joins his father's firm.
1952: Approached by a group of Tampa business and civic leaders who want to send him to Tallahassee to help clean up the Legislature. He is elected to the Florida House.
1956: Gibbons, often dubbed the father of the University of South Florida, shepherds the authorization bill for USF through the Legislature.
1958: Elected to the Florida Senate.
1962: Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
1969: Appointed to Ways and Means. Serves 12 years as chairman of its subcommittee on trade, promoting free trade and battling tariffs.
1994: Leads Ways and Means for seven months while chairman Dan Rostenkowski, D-Ill., is mired in a criminal investigation. Although Gibbons is re-elected to his 17th term, Republicans win control of the House and Senate, ending his chairmanship.
1995: In a well-publicized incident, he grabs the tie of Rep. Bill Thomas, R-Calif., in a confrontation over a GOP plan to overhaul Medicare funding.
March 4, 1996: Announces retirement from Congress after 34 years. Joins his son Cliff as a lobbyist.
1997: The new Tampa federal courthouse, the Sam M. Gibbons U.S. Courthouse, is dedicated.
2003: Martha Gibbons dies of cancer. Sam Gibbons later marries widow Betty Culbreath, whom he dated in high school.
Oct. 10, 2012: Dies in Tampa.
Compiled by Times news researcher Natalie Watson.
Source: Times files, news wires.