Sept. 14, 1928-Feb. 22, 1997
1946: Graduates from Stuyvesant High School, New York City.
1949: Graduates from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
1949: Enters Columbia University to study philosophy.
1952: Takes "a lousy job'' as a substitute teacher at PS 179 in East Harlem.
1959: Quits job teaching mathematics at Manhattan junior high school to become full-time organizer for the Teacher's Guild, a predecessor of the United Federation of Teachers.
1960: Helps lead one-day strike that produced nation's first collective-bargaining agreement for teachers.
1964: Elected president of the United Federation of Teachers in New York City.
1965: Marches with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Ala.
1967: Jailed during New York City strike for smaller class sizes, more money for education.
1968: Jailed for 15 days after divisive Ocean Hill-Brownsville strike.
1970: Launches "Where We Stand'' column, a paid weekly advertisement.
1973: Elected to AFL-CIO's executive council.
1973: Lampooned in Woody Allen's movie "Sleeper'' as a madman who destroyed civilization with a nuclear warhead.
1974: Elected to first term as president of the American Federation of Teachers; remains president of the UFT.
1975: Agrees after five-day strike to have the UFT's pension system bail out New York City by buying Municipal Assistance Corporation bonds.
1983: Calls A Nation at Risk findings "basically a good report''; urges teacher testing, higher salaries.
1985: Delivers "The Making of a Profession'' speech urging teachers to embrace career ladders, merit pay, and "radical restructuring'' of schools.
1986: Steps down as president of the UFT.
1992: Leads AFT members to adopt statement calling for improving American schools so that they are at least as effective as traditional schools in other industrialized countries.
1995: Launches union's "Lessons for Life'' campaign, urging higher standards of conduct and achievement for U.S. students.