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Timeline for Sam Gibbons

Former U.S. Rep. Sam Gibbons, who served in the Army during World War II, holds a 1943-1944 photo of himself during an interview in 2007. 

Associated Press (2007)

Former U.S. Rep. Sam Gibbons, who served in the Army during World War II, holds a 1943-1944 photo of himself during an interview in 2007. 

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.

Timeline for Sam Gibbons 10/10/12 [Last modified: Thursday, October 11, 2012 12:19pm]
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