Key dates in life, career of US Sen. Lautenberg

The Associated Press

Some key dates in the life and political career of U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., who died Monday.

Jan. 23, 1924: Born in Paterson, N.J.

1942-1946: Serves in U.S. Army Signal Corps during and just after World War II.

1952: With two friends, launches Automatic Data Processing, a payroll company that becomes one of the world's largest.

1982: Enters politics, winning an open U.S. Senate seat in a race against Millicent Fenwick.

1984: Writes bill, later signed into law by President Ronald Reagan, to withhold federal highway funds from states that do not set 21 as a minimum age to buy and possess alcohol.

1988: Wins re-election over Pete Dawkins.

1989: Is prime sponsor of 1989 law that bans smoking on all domestic flights of less than six hours.

1994: Wins re-election over Chuck Haytaian.

2000: Does not seek re-election and retires from the Senate at the end of his term.

September 2002: Enters Senate race after Sen. Robert Torricelli exits race. Defeats Republican Doug Forrester two months later.

2008: Wins re-election over Dick Zimmer after surviving a primary challenge from U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews.

February 2010: Days after the death of Sen. Robert Byrd makes him the oldest member of the Senate, he is diagnosed with lymphoma of the stomach. He undergoes chemotherapy and is declared in June to be free of cancer.

January 2012: In interviews, Lautenberg says he's "entitled" to seek re-election even though Newark Mayor Cory Booker has publicly said he's interested in running for the seat in 2014.

Feb. 14, 2013: Announces he will not seek re-election.

April 17: Returns to the Senate after being absent since Feb. 28 with pain and weakness in his legs. In a wheelchair, he casts votes for several measures, including a proposal to expand background checks of gun purchasers.

May 29: Stays home with what aides describe as chest cold, missing a New York gala honoring him for his contributions to the Jewish community and Israel.

June 3: Dies after suffering from complications of pneumonia in a New York hospital.