CNN-National & Wolrd

Terry Nichols Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here is a look at the life of convicted Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols.


Birth date: April 1, 1955

Birth place: Lapeer County, Michigan

Birth name: Terry Lynn Nichols

Father: Robert Nichols, farmer

Mother: Joyce Nichols

Marriages: Marife (Torres) Nichols (1990-2003, divorced); Lana (Osentoski) Nichols (1981-1989, divorced)

Children: with Marife Nichols: Christian and Nicole; with Lana Nichols: Joshua

Education: Attended Central Michigan University

Military service: US Army, 1988-1989

Other Facts

The FBI accused Nichols of helping build the bomb and arrange a getaway car for Timothy McVeigh after the bombing.

Nichols’ defense attorneys painted Nichols as a family man who had little to do with the bombing.

Nichols was not in Oklahoma City on the day of the bombing but was at home in Kansas. Prosecutors said Nichols helped McVeigh make the bomb the day before.

Nichols and McVeigh shared a fondness for guns, interest in survivalist training and a distrust of the US government.

Nichols learned how to mix fuel and fertilizer to make bombs while growing up on a farm. His father, a farmer, used such bombs to blow up tree stumps.

Nichols’ wife Marife complained at Nichols’ trial of being jealous of her husband’s close relationship with McVeigh.


May 24, 1988 – Enlists in the Army at the age of 33.

1988 – Meets McVeigh while in basic training at Fort Benning.

May 1989 – Is given a hardship discharge so he can go home to take care of his son Joshua.

Fall 1993 – McVeigh lives with the Nichols brothers, Terry and James, in their farmhouse.

March 1994 – Takes a job as a farmhand in Kansas.

Fall 1994 – Quits his job as a farmhand to go into business with McVeigh, selling guns and military surplus.

October 1994Along with McVeigh, steals blasting caps and other explosives materials from a quarry in Kansas.

November 5, 1994 – Reportedly robs Arkansas gun dealer Roger Moore to finance the purchase of bomb materials.

November 1994-January 1995 – Makes a trip to the Philippines where his wife Marife and daughter Nicole are living. Before leaving on the trip, Nichols gives his ex-wife Lana letters and instructions for McVeigh, which are to be read if he doesn’t return from the Philippines.

April 19, 1995 – A bomb explodes at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people.

April 21, 1995 – Nichols surrenders to Kansas police when he hears they are looking for him.

December 23, 1997 – Is found guilty on federal charges of conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and on eight counts of involuntary manslaughter.

June 4, 1998 – Judge Richard Matsch sentences Nichols to life in prison without parole after the federal jury is unable to decide on the death penalty or a life sentence.

September 13, 1999A federal judge rejects Nichols’ request for a new federal trial.

September 5, 2001 – The Oklahoma County District Attorney announces that Nichols will face a state trial for his role in the bombing. District Attorney C. Wesley Lane says he is going forward with the trial because he is concerned the federal conviction will be overturned.

March 22, 2004Nichols’ state trial opens.

April 20, 2004 – Michael Fortier testifies that McVeigh asked him to help build the bomb because “Terry was backing out.” Fortier was sentenced to 12 years in prison as part of a plea deal for testifying against McVeigh and Nichols.

May 26, 2004 Nichols is found guilty in Oklahoma state court on 161 counts of murder. The jury spent five hours deliberating before announcing the verdict.

June 11, 2004 – The jury in Nichols’ state trial says it is deadlocked over a sentence of life in prison or death by lethal injection. The decision now falls to Pittsburg County District Judge Steven Taylor, and by law, his options are limited to life in prison, with or without the chance for parole.

August 9, 2004District Judge Steven Taylor sentences Nichols to 161 consecutive life terms, without the possibility of parole.

April 1, 2005The FBI finds residual bomb making material in Nichols’ former residence, not detected in previous searches.

May 4, 2005 – In a letter written from his Colorado prison cell, Nichols names Arkansas gun dealer Roger Moore as the man who supplied him and McVeigh with bomb components. Moore denies any involvement.

March 16, 2009 – Files a 39-page handwritten lawsuit against the Colorado prison where he is staying for violating his religious and dietary needs. In the lawsuit Nichols requests 100% whole-grain foods, fresh raw vegetables and fruit, a wheat bran supplement and digestive bacteria and enzymes.

February 2010Goes on a fast, protesting the processed foods he is being served in prison.

August 12, 2010 – US District Judge Christine M. Arguello dismisses Nichols’ lawsuit over prison food.

November 28, 2011 – Jannie Coverdale, grandmother of two victims of the Oklahoma City bombing, reveals she has been corresponding with Nichols for several years and that he apologized and asked for her forgiveness, which he received. In copies of the letters published in The Oklahoman, Nichols admits he knew there was to be a bombing but didn’t know the federal building was the target and that the building would be occupied.

July 13, 2015 – Nichols files a motion asking the court to force the FBI to turn over approximately ten firearms, belonging to him, that were seized after the bombings. Nichols suggests in the motion that the FBI turn the guns over to his ex-wife to help support his children.

April 15, 2016 – Federal judge Richard P. Matsch orders the government to destroy the firearms belonging to Nichols, and that the fair market value of $6,922 be applied to his court ordered restitution of $14.5 million.

March 9, 2017 – Evidence from Nichols’ state trial in Oklahoma is transferred to the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.

December 18, 2018 – Nichols’ son Joshua is arrested after a police standoff in Las Vegas. He was wanted for violating probation.

CNN-National & Wolrd

Robert Hanssen Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at the life of convicted spy Robert Hanssen.


Birth date: April 18, 1944

Birth place: Chicago, Illinois

Birth name: Robert Philip Hanssen

Father: Howard Hanssen, police officer

Mother: Vivian Hanssen

Marriage: Bernadette “Bonnie” (Wauck) Hanssen (August 10, 1968-present)

Children: Lisa, Greg, Mark, John “Jack,” Sue and Jane

Education: Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, A.B. in Chemistry, 1966; Attended Northwestern University Dental School, 1966-1968; Northwestern University, M.B.A. in Accounting and Information Systems, 1971

Other Facts

Hanssen received payments of $1.4 million in cash and diamonds from the information he gave the Soviet Union and Russia.

At least two movies have been made about Hanssen. A TV movie called “Master Spy: The Robert Hanssen Story” was released in 2002. A feature film called “Breach” was released in 2007.


1972 – Joins the Chicago Police Department.

January 12, 1976 – Joins the FBI as a Special Agent.

1979 Begins spying for the Soviet Union.

1980 Begins working for the counterintelligence unit, focusing on the Soviet Union.

1981 – Is assigned to the Intelligence Division at FBI headquarters in DC.

1981 Hanssen’s wife catches him with classified documents and convinces him to stop spying.

October 4, 1985 Resumes spying.

1991 – Breaks off relations with the KGB.

1999 Resumes spying, this time for the Russian Intelligence agency.

2000 – The FBI identifies Hanssen from a fingerprint and from a tape recording supplied by a disgruntled Russian intelligence operative. The FBI also obtains the complete original KGB dossier on Hanssen.

December 2000 The FBI begins surveillance of Hanssen.

January 12, 2001 Hanssen is reassigned from counterintelligence to an obscure office at FBI headquarters.

February 18, 2001 – Is arrested in a Virginia park after making a drop of classified documents. Agents find a bag nearby containing $50,000 that they believe is Hanssen’s payment for the documents.

May 16, 2001 – Is indicted on 21 counts of spying for the Soviet Union/Russia and passing top secret material to the Soviet Union/Russia.

May 31, 2001 Pleads not guilty to all charges.

July 6, 2001 – Pleads guilty to 15 counts of espionage and conspiracy in exchange for the government not seeking the death penalty.

May 10, 2002 – Is sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

CNN-National & Wolrd

John Roberts Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at the life of John Roberts, chief justice of the United States.


Birth date: January 27, 1955

Birth place: Buffalo, New York

Birth name: John Glover Roberts Jr.

Father: John Glover Roberts Sr., steel company executive

Mother: Rosemary (Podrasky) Roberts

Marriage: Jane (Sullivan) Roberts (July 27, 1996-present)

Children: Adopted with Jane Roberts: John and Josephine

Education: Harvard University, A.B., 1976; Harvard Law School, J.D., 1979

Religion: Roman Catholic

Other Facts

He grew up in Long Beach, Indiana.

As an attorney for the government and in private practice, he argued 39 cases before the US Supreme Court and won 25 of them.

He is a member of the American Law Institute, and a member of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and chancellor of the Smithsonian Institution.

Roberts is the youngest chief justice since John Marshall in 1801.


1979-1980 – Clerk for Judge Henry J. Friendly, US Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

1980-1981 – Clerk for Associate Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist.

1981-1982 – Special assistant to US Attorney General William French Smith.

1982-1986 – Associate counsel to President Ronald Reagan.

1986-1989 – Partner and head of the appellate division at Hogan & Hartson, Washington, DC.

1989 – Roberts argues his first case before the Supreme Court: United States v. Halper.

1989-1993 – Principal deputy solicitor general for the US government.

1992 – Is nominated by President George H.W. Bush to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The nomination is never acted upon by the Senate.

1993-2003 – Returns to Hogan & Hartson.

2001 Roberts represents 18 states and the District of Columbia in the appeal to the Microsoft antitrust case, U.S. v. Microsoft.

May 2001 – Is nominated by President George W. Bush to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The vote stalls when the Democrats take control of the Senate in June 2001.

November 13, 2002 – Roberts defends Megan’s Law before the Supreme Court. The law creates a registry for sex offenders that can be searched online.

May 8, 2003 – The Senate unanimously votes to confirm his appointment to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

September 5, 2005 – Is nominated by George W. Bush to be chief justice of the United States following the death of Chief Justice Rehnquist.

September 12-15, 2005 – Senate confirmation hearings take place.

September 29, 2005 – The Senate votes 78-22 to confirm Roberts.

January 21, 2009 – Re-administers the oath of office to President Barack Obama one day after the official swearing-in ceremony, during which Roberts misplaces a word in the oath and causes Obama to stumble over the recitation.

June 28, 2012 – In National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius, Roberts casts the deciding vote, 5-4, and writes the majority opinion in favor of the Affordable Care Act.

June 25, 2013 – The court strikes down portions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, with Roberts writing in the majority opinion that “our country has changed,” suggesting that many of the issues addressed by the law have been resolved.

June 25, 2015 – Roberts writes the court’s majority decision in King v. Burwell, saving the Affordable Care Act by authorizing federal tax credits for eligible Americans living not only in states with their own exchanges but also in the 34 states with federal marketplaces.

June 26, 2015 – Roberts writes a dissent against the court’s ruling that legalizes same-sex marriage nationwide.

May 23, 2016 – With a majority opinion written by Roberts, the court rules in favor of a death row inmate who claimed he did not get a fair trial because of racial discrimination during the jury selection process.

December 31, 2017 – Roberts announces, in his year-end report on the state of the judiciary, that an evaluation of how the judicial branch handles allegations of sexual harassment will take place in 2018. Roberts says recent events “have illuminated the depth of the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace” and made clear that the “judicial branch is not immune.”

June 26, 2018 – Roberts writes the majority opinion upholding President Donald Trump‘s travel ban stating, “The Proclamation is squarely within the scope of Presidential authority.”

November 21, 2018 – Roberts issues a statement in response to Trump criticizing District Court Judge Jon Tigar as an “Obama judge.” Roberts says, “We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges. What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them. That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.”

January 16, 2020 – After being sworn in by Sen. Chuck Grassley, Roberts administers an oath to US senators to do “impartial justice, according to the Constitution and laws. So help me God.” Roberts will preside over the impeachment trial against President Trump.

January 22, 2020 – Scolds both the Democratic House managers and Trump’s defense team after a contentious exchange on the Senate floor during the impeachment trial, saying, “I think it is appropriate for me to admonish both the House managers and the President’s counsel in equal terms to remember that they are addressing the world’s greatest deliberative body.”

January 30, 2020 – Roberts publicly refuses to read a question from Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky during the Senate impeachment trial that names the alleged Ukraine whistleblower.

February 5, 2020 – Roberts is presented a golden gavel for presiding over the trial before thanking the Senate and officially adjourning the trial. Trump was acquitted on both articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

June 21, 2020 – Roberts is briefly hospitalized after falling while walking near his home, according to a spokeswoman for the Supreme Court.

CNN-National & Wolrd

Mark David Chapman Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at the life of Mark David Chapman, who was convicted of murdering musician John Lennon.


Birth date: May 10, 1955

Birth place: Fort Worth, Texas

Birth name: Mark David Chapman

Father: David Chapman, former sergeant, US Air Force

Mother: Diane Chapman, nurse

Marriage: Gloria (Abe) Chapman (June 1979-present)

Education: Attended DeKalb Junior College and Covenant College

Other Facts

As documented in the press, Chapman is known for an obsessive devotion to “The Catcher in the Rye,” J.D. Salinger’s novel about teenage alienation.

Suffers from depression and was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic by Dr. Bernard Diamond, a psychiatrist for the defense.

Started using drugs and skipping school his freshman year in high school. This behavior ended when he turned 16 and became a born-again Christian, as documented in the book, “Let Me Take You Down: Inside the Mind of Mark David Chapman, the Man Who Killed John Lennon,” by Jack Jones.


1971-1975 – Works on and off as a YMCA counselor.

1977Purchases a one-way ticket and flies to Hawaii. Attempts suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning. Once recovered, Chapman takes a job at the hospital where he received treatment.

1978Embarks on an around-the-world trip.

1979Marries Gloria Abe, the travel agent who helped plan his around-the-world trip. Chapman then quits his job at the hospital and takes a job as a security guard.

1980 – Reads a book on Lennon and becomes enraged that Lennon has so much money.

October 23, 1980 Quits his job as a security guard, signs himself out as “John Lennon.”

October 27, 1980 Purchases a .38 caliber revolver.

October 30, 1980Flies to New York. He is unable to purchase bullets, so he flies to Atlanta to acquire them, then goes back to New York. His wife convinces him to return home to Hawaii.

December 6, 1980Returns to New York.

December 8, 1980 – Spends entire day outside the Dakota, the Central Park West apartment building in Manhattan where Lennon and his family live. Meets Lennon’s 5-year-old son, Sean, with his nanny and shakes hands with him. Encounters Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, as they are leaving their apartment. Lennon signs a copy of his recently released “Double Fantasy” album for Chapman. Chapman remains outside the Dakota until Lennon and Ono return home. Chapman shoots Lennon in the back four times with a .38 caliber revolver. Chapman makes no attempt to flee; he is disarmed by the doorman. When police arrive, Chapman is reading “The Catcher in the Rye,” by Salinger. Lennon is pronounced dead at Roosevelt Hospital.

December 9, 1980Chapman is arraigned on charges of second-degree murder. Following the arraignment, he is taken to Bellevue Hospital for psychiatric evaluation and placed under suicide watch.

June 22, 1981 – Chapman’s legal defense prepares to argue an insanity defense but Chapman pleads guilty saying that he received a message from God telling him to do so.

August 24, 1981 – Judge Dennis Edwards sentences Chapman to 20 years to life in prison and recommends Chapman undergo psychiatric treatment. Just prior to sentencing, Chapman reads a passage from “The Catcher in the Rye.”

2000-2020 – Denied parole 11 times.

CNN-National & Wolrd

Rod Blagojevich Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here is a look at the life of Rod Blagojevich, former governor of Illinois who served eight years in federal prison.


Birth date: December 10, 1956

Birth place: Chicago, Illinois

Birth name: Rod Blagojevich (has no middle name, uses the initial R to honor his father)

Father: Rade Blagojevich, steelworker

Mother: Millie (Govedarica) Blagojevich

Marriage: Patricia (Mell) Blagojevich (1990-present)

Children: Anne and Amy

Education: Northwestern University, B.A., 1979; Pepperdine University, J.D., 1983

Other Facts

Last name is pronounced Bluh-GOY-uh-vitch.

His father was a prisoner of war for four years in a Nazi camp during World War II.


1986-1988 Assistant state’s attorney in Cook County, Illinois.

1992-1996 Serves in the Illinois House, representing the 33rd District.

1996-2002 US Representative from Illinois’s 5th District.

November 2002 Becomes the first Democrat elected governor of Illinois in 30 years.

January 13, 2003 Is sworn in as the 40th governor of Illinois.

January 8, 2007 Is sworn in for a second term as governor of Illinois.

December 9, 2008 Is taken into federal custody on corruption charges. He is charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and solicitation of bribery. Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, are accused of “conspiring to obtain personal financial benefits” by leveraging his authority to appoint a US senator to replace President-elect Barack Obama.

December 30, 2008 Blagojevich appoints former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to fill the Senate seat vacated by Obama.

January 9, 2009 The Illinois House of Representatives votes to impeach Blagojevich. The vote is 114-1.

January 26, 2009 Impeachment hearings begin in the Illinois Senate. Blagojevich does not attend, choosing instead to appear on “Larry King Live,” “The View,” and “Good Morning America.”

January 29, 2009 The Illinois Senate votes unanimously to remove Blagojevich and to bar him from holding political office in Illinois again.

April 2, 2009 Indicted on 16 felony counts by a federal grand jury.

April 14, 2009 Blagojevich pleads not guilty.

June 13, 2009 Appears in a Chicago comedy show “Rod Blagojevich Superstar.”

September 8, 2009 Blagojevich’s autobiography, “The Governor” is published.

2010 – Appears as a contestant on four episodes of the “Celebrity Apprentice” reality TV show.

June 3, 2010 Blagojevich’s trial on corruption charges begins.

August 17, 2010 The jury in Blagojevich’s trial returns its verdict after deliberating for 14 days. He is found guilty of making false statements to federal investigators. The jury is unable to come to a decision on 23 other counts.

February 24, 2011 A federal judge drops three of 23 corruption charges against Blagojevich.

May 2, 2011 Blagojevich’s retrial begins.

June 27, 2011 The jury comes back with 17 guilty verdicts, one not guilty and two counts deadlocked.

July 25, 2011 Blagojevich files a 158-page motion requesting an acquittal or a new trial, citing fundamentally unfair proceedings.

December 7, 2011 Sentenced to 14 years in federal prison.

March 15, 2012 Reports to Englewood Federal Correctional Institution in Colorado to begin serving a 14-year sentence.

July 15, 2013 – Blagojevich’s lawyers appeal his conviction to the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals, claiming the trial judge failed to explain to jurors that “political deal-making” can be legal and “misled the jury by failing to explain the legal distinction between campaign contributions and bribes.”

July 21, 2015 – The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals overturns five counts against Blagojevich, saying the prosecutors did not prove that he broke the law when trying to sell Obama’s old Senate seat.

August 19, 2015 – The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals denies Blagojevich a rehearing. Blagojevich will now ask the US Supreme Court to overturn his remaining convictions and sentence.

March 30, 2016 – Two days after the Supreme Court declines to hear Blagojevich’s appeal, federal prosecutors file a motion asking a US District Judge to schedule a resentencing date for the former governor. Prosecutors will not retry Blagojevich on the five charges that were overturned by the appeals court.

August 9, 2016 – US District Judge James Zagel imposes the same 14-year sentence against Blagojevich, despite pleas for a reduced term.

September 11, 2017 – Blagojevich’s first interview since he was sent to prison is published in Chicago magazine.

November 3, 2017 – Blagojevich submits a second request to overturn his conviction and sentencing to the US Supreme Court. This comes after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected his request for a rehearing earlier this year.

June 5, 2018 – Files the clemency paperwork, officially asking President Donald Trump to commute his prison sentence. The move comes days after Trump told reporters he was considering commuting Blagojevich’s sentence.

July 12, 2019 – Rev. Jesse Jackson signs a letter encouraging Trump to grant a full pardon to Blagojevich.

August 7, 2019 – Trump tells reporters he wants to commute Blagojevich’s sentence because the former governor was “treated unbelievably unfairly.” The next day Trump tweets that White House staff is continuing to review “the possibility of commuting” Blagojevich’s sentence.

February 18, 2020 – Trump announces he has commuted Blagojevich’s prison sentence, and Blagojevich is released after serving eight years of a 14-year sentence.

May 14, 2020 – Blagojevich’s podcast “Lightning Rod” debuts.

May 18, 2020 – Is disbarred by the Illinois Supreme Court.

CNN-National & Wolrd

Al Sharpton Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at the life of Rev. Al Sharpton, political activist and Baptist minister.


Birth date: October 3, 1954

Birth place: Brooklyn, New York

Birth name: Alfred Charles Sharpton Jr.

Father: Alfred Sharpton Sr., carpenter/contractor

Mother: Ada Essie (Richards) Sharpton

Marriages: Kathy Jordan Sharpton (1980-present, separated); Marsha Tinsley (less than a year)

Children: Ashley, 1987 and Dominique, 1986

Education: Attended Brooklyn College

Religion: Baptist

Other Facts

Toured with singer James Brown in the 1970s.

Kathy Jordan, Sharpton’s second wife, was a backup singer for Brown.


1964 – Is ordained as a Pentecostal minister.

1969 – Is named youth director for Operation Breadbasket, a campaign to improve economic conditions in black neighborhoods, by Jesse Jackson.

1970s Founds National Youth Movement to raise money for poor youth and fight drugs (later renamed United African Movement).

1972Is named youth director of Shirley Chisholm’s presidential campaign.

1987 – Becomes the spokesman for the family of Tawana Brawley, a black teenager who claimed she was abducted and raped by a group of white men. When the case is later brought before a grand jury, it is determined that Brawley falsified the account.

January 1988 – A Newsday article reveals that Sharpton was an FBI informant on organized crime, public figures and black civic leaders.

1989 – Is charged with 67 counts of tax evasion, larceny and fraud. A jury later acquits Sharpton of all charges.

1990 – Supports the five black defendants in the Central Park jogger case where a white female jogger was raped and beaten. In December 2002 all convictions are overturned when another man confesses to the crime and DNA evidence supports his confession.

1991 – Founds the National Action Network, an organization promoting “a modern civil rights agenda.

January 12, 1991 – Is stabbed in the chest while leading a march against the verdict in the case of the 1989 murder of Yusef Hawkins. The wound is not considered life-threatening. Michael Riccardi is convicted of the crime and Sharpton speaks at Riccardi’s sentencing hearing, asking for leniency.

August 26, 1991 – Speaks at the funeral of Gavin Cato, a 7-year-old black child who was struck and killed by a Jewish driver on August 19. Cato’s death sparked three days of riots in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, in which a Jewish student from Australia was stabbed to death.

1992 – Places third out of four Democratic candidates in New York’s primary for the US Senate.

1993 – Sharpton pleads guilty to a misdemeanor charge of failing to file state income tax for 1986.

1994 – Runs and loses in the primary for Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s US Senate seat.

February 1994 Converts from Pentecostal to Baptist and returns to preaching.

1997 Comes in second in New York’s mayoral primary with 32% of the vote.

1998 – Steven Pagones, accused of raping Brawley, files a civil suit against Sharpton and others involved in the 1987 incident. A jury orders Sharpton to pay $65,000 for defamation.

1999 – Organizes a massive demonstration after the death of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed man killed by police outside his Bronx apartment.

2001 – Is sentenced to 90 days in jail for trespassing on US Navy property during a protest of military training activities on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques.

April 22, 2003Formally announces his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president.

December 6, 2003 – Hosts NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.”

March 15, 2004 – Drops out of the 2004 presidential race and endorses John Kerry.

May 13, 2004 – Is ordered by the Federal Election Commission to repay $100,000 in public matching funds he received for his 2004 presidential bid.

July 28, 2004Addresses the Democratic National Convention in Boston.

November 2, 2005Speaks at the funeral of Rosa Parks.

September 20, 2007 – Leads several thousand people in a protest through Jena, Louisiana, in support of the “Jena Six,” a group of black teens charged with beating a white classmate.

October 8, 2008 – Is convicted of two counts of disorderly conduct stemming from an arrest at a May 2008 rally.

February 22, 2009 – Asks the city government to put pressure on the New York Post for a President Barack Obama cartoon he says was racist. Meets with the FCC to oppose waivers granted to New York Post owner Rupert Murdoch.

April 23, 2009Is fined $285,000 by the FEC, alleging he received hundreds of thousands of dollars in private funds. It is later found that his National Action Network gave hundreds of thousands of dollars towards his campaign that should have been covered by his election committee.

May 16, 2009 – On the 55th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, Sharpton and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich announce they will be working together to explore how the educational gap between races and classes can be fixed.

June 20, 2009 – Meets with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to discuss allegations of racial profiling.

September 3, 2009 – Delivers eulogy at Michael Jackson’s funeral.

August 29, 2011 – Sharpton’s new show on MSNBC, “PoliticsNation,” premieres.

April 8, 2014 – Sharpton denies he did anything wrong when he disclosed information about the mafia to the FBI starting in the 1980s.

August 25, 2014 – Sharpton speaks at the funeral of Ferguson, Missouri, teenager Michael Brown. During his eulogy, Sharpton criticizes police and asks that protestors not commit violence in Brown’s name.

November 18, 2014 – The New York Times reports that Sharpton and his for-profit companies owe more than $4.5 million in unpaid taxes. At a press conference, Sharpton disputes the report, stating that $4.5 million was the original figure he was ordered to pay back in 2008, but that he has been making regular payments since then and the amount is now less.

August 31, 2018 – Speaks at the funeral of Aretha Franklin in Detroit.

June 4, 2020 – Sharpton announces that he’s organizing a March on Washington in late August to mark the 57th anniversary of the historic demonstration for civil rights as protests over the death of George Floyd sweep the nation. Sharpton says the event will be led by the families of black people who have died at the hands of police officers, including Floyd’s family.


Harry Reid Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here is a look at the life of Harry Reid, former Senate majority leader and retired US senator from Nevada.


Birth date: December 2, 1939

Birth place: Searchlight, Nevada

Birth name: Harry Mason Reid

Father: Harry Reid Sr., miner

Mother: Inez (Jaynes) Reid

Marriage: Landra (Gould) Reid (1959-present)

Children: Key, 1974; Josh, 1971; Leif, 1968; Rory, 1962; Lana, 1961

Education: Utah State University, B.S., 1961; George Washington School of Law, J.D., 1964

Religion: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Other Facts

He was a middleweight amateur boxer.

Reid and his wife both converted to the LDS church in college. He had been raised nonreligious and his wife was raised Jewish.


1961-1964 US Capitol police officer (while in law school).

1964-1966 City Attorney for Henderson, Nevada.

1969-1970 Member of the Nevada State Assembly.

1970-1974 Wins election as the youngest lieutenant governor in Nevada history, at age 30.

1974 – Resigns as lieutenant governor to run for the US Senate, but loses to Paul Laxalt.

1977-1981 Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission.

January 1983-January 1987 US Representative from Nevada’s 1st District.

November 4, 1986 Wins election to the US Senate.

November 3, 1992 – Wins a second term in the Senate.

November 3, 1998 – Re-elected to the Senate.

January 1999-January 2005 Democratic Party Whip in the Senate.

November 2, 2004 Re-elected to the Senate.

2005-2007 Senate Minority Leader.

2007-2015 Serves as the Senate Majority Leader.

January 9, 2010 In the book, “Game Change,” a quote from Reid about Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential election stirs racial controversy for which Reid apologizes.

March 26, 2010 Reid, for the second time, votes incorrectly for the health care reconciliation bill. He is in support of the bill but when he was asked to place his vote, he accidentally yells “no.”

November 2, 2010 Is re-elected to the Senate.

January 2015-January 2017 – Senate Minority Leader.

January 1, 2015 – Breaks several ribs and bones in his face when a piece of exercise equipment he is using breaks, causing him to fall.

March 27, 2015 – Announces he will not seek re-election.

October 6, 2015 – Reid files a lawsuit in a Nevada court against Thera-Band’s parent company, the Hygenic Corp, along with Hygenic Intangible Property Holding Co. and Performance Health LLC. Reid claims that Thera-Band’s exercise equipment malfunctioned, causing him serious injuries.

October 26, 2016 – Reid files an amended complaint in his civil case against Thera-Band and its parent companies.

December 8, 2016 – Reid delivers his final speech as Senate Minority Leader and US Senator from Nevada.

April 10, 2017 – Announced as UNLV Boyd School of Law’s first distinguished fellow in law and policy.

May 14, 2018 – Undergoes surgery at Johns Hopkins Cancer Center for pancreatic cancer. According to a statement from Reid’s family: “His doctors caught the problem early during a routine screening and his surgeons are confident that the surgery was a success and that the prognosis for his recovery is good. He will undergo chemotherapy as the next step in his treatment.”

April 12, 2019 – Reid calls for an end to the legislative filibuster in a New York Times opinion piece, asserting that removing the procedure would help end the “era of obstruction and inaction” in the Senate.

CNN-National & Wolrd

Joseph Lieberman Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at the life of Joseph Lieberman, former United States senator from Connecticut.


Birth date: February 24, 1942

Birth place: Stamford, Connecticut

Birth name: Joseph Isadore Lieberman

Father: Henry Lieberman, package-store owner

Mother: Marcia (Manger) Lieberman

Marriages: Hadassah (Freilich) Lieberman (1983-present); Betty Haas (1965-1981, divorced)

Children: with Hadassah Lieberman: Hani, Ethan (stepson); with Betty Haas: Rebecca, Matthew, 1967

Education: Yale University, B.A., 1964, Yale Law School, L.L.B, 1967

Religion: Jewish

Other Facts

Lieberman was Al Gore’s running mate in the 2000 presidential campaign. He is the first Jewish person to be nominated by a major party.

When Lieberman ran for state senate in 1970, one of the volunteers who worked on his campaign was future President Bill Clinton.

At Yale, his nickname was “Senator.”

He has said that he took time off from college in 1963 to spend a few weeks in Mississippi doing civil rights work.


1967-1969 Works with the private law firm Wiggin and Dana.

1968 – Runs the Connecticut presidential campaign of Democrat Robert F. Kennedy.

1970 Is elected to the Connecticut Senate, representing New Haven.

1972-1983 Partner in the law firm Lieberman, Segaloff and Wolfson.

1975-1981 – Majority leader of the Connecticut Senate.

1980 Runs unsuccessfully for a seat in Congress and returns to private practice.

1983-1988 Attorney general of Connecticut.

November 8, 1988 Becomes the first Orthodox Jew to be elected to the US Senate.

1989-2013 US senator from Connecticut.

1995-2001 Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council.

August 8, 2000 Vice President Gore selects Lieberman as his running mate in the presidential race.

January 7, 2003 Publishes the book, “An Amazing Adventure: Joe and Hadassah’s Personal Notes on the 2000 Campaign,” along with his wife Hadassah Lieberman.

January 13, 2003 Declares he will run for president in the 2004 election.

February 3, 2004 Drops out of the race for president.

August 8, 2006 – Is defeated in Connecticut’s Democratic Senate primary by Ned Lamont. Lieberman then announces he will run in the election as an Independent.

November 7, 2006 Wins reelection as an Independent.

December 17, 2007 Endorses Republican Senator John McCain during the primary campaign for the presidential nomination. The endorsement stirs up controversy and after the election, the Senate Democratic Caucus strips him of his spot on the Environment and Public Works Committee. Lieberman is allowed to keep his chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

January 19, 2011 Announces that he will not run for reelection to his Senate seat in 2012.

January 2013 Retires from the Senate.

June 6, 2013 – Joins the law firm Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP.

January 2, 2014 – Announces he will serve as executive board chairman of Victory Park Capital, a private equity firm.

January 12, 2015 – After the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, Lieberman writes an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal and states that a global alliance is necessary to combat terrorists.

August 10, 2015 – United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), an advocacy group that campaigns for sanctions against Iran, announces that Lieberman is its new chairman.

December 22, 2016 – Lieberman tells CNN that he supports President Donald Trump’s designated ambassador to Israel, David Friedman. Lieberman and Friedman work together at the law firm, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP.

January 17, 2017 – Lieberman introduces Trump’s nominee for secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, at her Senate committee hearing.

May 17, 2017 – White House Spokesman Sean Spicer says that Lieberman is a candidate to replace James Comey as director of the FBI.

May 25, 2017 – Withdraws his name from consideration for the position of FBI director.

September 9, 2019 – In an opinion piece for USA Today, Lieberman, representing UANI, writes that the 2020 democratic presidential candidates should support Trump’s Iran policy and not pledge to rejoin the 2015 nuclear agreement.

CNN-National & Wolrd

Bernard Madoff Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at the life of Bernard Madoff, serving 150 years in prison for running a multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme.


Birth date: April 29, 1938

Death date: April 14, 2021

Birth place: Queens, New York

Birth name: Bernard Lawrence Madoff

Father: Ralph Madoff

Mother: Sylvia (Muntner) Madoff

Marriage: Ruth (Alpern) Madoff (November 1959-April 14, 2021, his death)

Children: Andrew and Mark

Education: Hofstra University, B.A. Political Science, 1960

Other Facts

Started his firm with $5,000 he saved from working as a lifeguard.

Madoff served as NASDAQ’s chairman in 1990, 1991 and 1993.

Had many high-profile victims, including director Steven Spielberg, actors Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, and New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon.

16,521 investors have filed claims against Madoff.


1960 Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities is founded.

December 10, 2008 Bernard Madoff allegedly confesses to employees of his company that the asset management portion of his firm is actually a large Ponzi scheme. Madoff says the business had lost about $50 billion and that he plans to turn himself in to authorities in a week.

December 11, 2008 Madoff is arrested on one count of securities fraud for allegedly operating a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme from his investment advisory business. He is released on $10 million bail.

December 12, 2008 A federal court in Manhattan issues a temporary order freezing Madoff’s assets and appointing a receiver over him and his firm.

December 17, 2008 Madoff is placed on house arrest. Several bids by prosecutors to jail Madoff are denied by the court.

February 9, 2009 The SEC and Madoff reach a partial settlement agreement. Under the terms of the deal, Madoff will keep a previously reached agreement to freeze his assets and not to violate any other securities laws. This is separate from the criminal charge Madoff faces.

March 12, 2009 Madoff pleads guilty to eleven felony charges including: money laundering, perjury, false filings with the SEC and fraud. There is no deal with the government associated with the guilty plea.
— US District Court Judge Denny Chin orders Madoff to Metropolitan Correctional Center following his confession.

March 20, 2009 An appeals court rules that Madoff will remain in jail until sentencing.

April 1, 2009 Federal marshals seize Madoff’s yacht, a smaller boat, and one of his homes in Florida as court-ordered seizures of the financier’s assets begin.

June 29, 2009 Madoff is sentenced to 150 years in prison.

July 14, 2009 Madoff arrives at Butner Federal Correction Complex in North Carolina to begin serving his sentence.

October 2, 2009 – A $199 million lawsuit is filed against Madoff’s sons, his brother Peter Madoff and his niece Shana Madoff, who all worked at Madoff’s firm.

December 11, 2010 Madoff’s son, Mark Madoff, 46, commits suicide in his Manhattan apartment.

February 15, 2011 – In an interview from prison, Madoff tells the New York Times he felt that some banks and hedge funds “had to know.”

June 4, 2011 – Final auction of personal property belonging to Madoff nets $500,000. So far, the total recovery from the Madoffs has been approximately $24 million in property sales and $80 million in cash assets.

September 20, 2012 – Trustee Irving Picard announces that victims of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme will receive another $2.5 billion in reimbursement of their stolen funds. This brings the total amount returned to investors to $3.6 billion. Approximately half of the victims have been repaid.

January 22, 2014 – CNBC reports receiving an email from Madoff in which he says he had a heart attack in December of 2013 and that he has stage 4 kidney disease.

March 25, 2014 – Picard announces plans to pay out an additional $349 million to Madoff’s victims. Approximately $9.8 billion has been recovered so far.

September 3, 2014 – Son Andrew, Madoff’s last surviving child, dies of cancer at age 48.

February 2015 – Another $355 million in recovered funds is distributed to Madoff’s victims. Approximately $10.5 billion has been recovered so far.

February 1, 2016 – Trustees announce that more than $11.079 billion of the $17.5 billion in principal investment has been recovered to date.

November 9, 2017 – The US Department of Justice announces that it will begin distributing funds to Madoff’s victims. The money comes out of the Madoff Victim Fund, an account the US government put together in 2013 to assist investors in recovering their lost funds.

February 5, 2020 – In a court filing, Madoff asks a judge for compassionate release from prison. Madoff has terminal kidney failure and a life expectancy of less than 18 months, according to the filing.

March 4, 2020 – Federal prosecutors deny Madoff’s request to be released early, saying Madoff’s crime was “unprecedented in scope and magnitude.”

April 20, 2020 – The DOJ announces the fifth distribution of $378.5 million to more than 26,000 victims worldwide. This payment brings the total recovery of funds for victims to $2.7 billion, 73.65 % of their losses.

April 14, 2021 – Madoff dies at the Federal Medical Center, Butner, a prison in North Carolina, according to the US Bureau of Prisons.

CNN-National & Wolrd

Ralph Nader Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at the life of consumer advocate and former candidate for president Ralph Nader.


Birth date: February 27, 1934

Birth place: Winsted, Connecticut

Birth name: Ralph Nader

Father: Nathra Nader

Mother: Rose (Bouziane) Nader

Education: Princeton University, A.B., 1955, Harvard Law School, L.L.B., 1958

Military: US Army, 1959

Other Facts

Writer and attorney.

Green Party presidential candidate in 1996 and 2000; Independent candidate in 2004 and 2008.

Speaks Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian.

Son of Lebanese immigrants.


Early 1960s Practices law in Hartford, Connecticut.

1961-1963 Lectures at Hartford University.

1964 Is hired by Assistant Secretary of Labor Daniel Patrick Moynihan as a consultant on auto safety.

1965 Publishes “Unsafe at Any Speed,” an indictment of the auto industry in Detroit. Nader accuses car makers of putting style ahead of safety in the design of their cars. He focuses specifically on the Chevrolet Corvair.

February 10, 1966 Testifies before a Senate subcommittee on auto safety.

March 1966 – James Roche, president of General Motors, apologizes in front of the Senate for hiring private investigators to spy on Nader.

September 9, 1966 President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act into law.

1967 Lobbies Congress to pass the Wholesome Meat Act, increasing inspections of slaughterhouses and meat processing plants.

1967-1968 Lectures at Princeton University.

1969 Helps establish the Center for Responsive Law, a non-profit studying consumer issues.

1970 Settles a harassment lawsuit against GM for $425,000.

December 29, 1970 Congress establishes the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which had been strongly lobbied for by Nader.

1971 Founds Public Citizen Inc., a consumer lobbying group.

1971 – After the first Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) are launched in Oregon and Minnesota, Nader co-authors with Donald Ross “Action for a Change,” a how-to guide for helping students establish state-based PIRGs.

August 19, 1996 Is nominated as the Green Party’s candidate for president.

November 1996 Receives 685,000 votes (.71%) in the presidential election.

June 25, 2000 Is again nominated as the Green Party candidate for president.

November 2000 Receives 2.8 million votes in the 2000 presidential election, approximately 2.75% of the vote. Is on the ballot in 33 states and the District of Columbia as the Green Party candidate and is listed as an Independent on the ballots of eight states.

January 2001 Establishes the League of Fans, a sports reform and advocacy project.

February 22, 2004 Announces he is running for president as an Independent.

August 9, 2004 Two lawsuits are filed in Pennsylvania on behalf of Democratic voters challenging Nader’s petitions to get on Pennsylvania’s ballot, alleging that thousands of the signatures are forged or fictitious.

October 13, 2004 A state court removes Nader from Pennsylvania’s presidential ballot, citing thousands of fraudulent signatures.

November 2, 2004 Gets 411,304 votes (1%) in the presidential election. Is on the ballot in 34 states and the District of Columbia.

January 2005 A judge orders Nader and his running mate, Peter Camejo, to pay over $80,000 in legal fees incurred by a group who challenged Nader’s petitions to get on the Pennsylvania ballot.

October 30, 2007 Sues the Democratic National Committee, the Kerry-Edwards campaign, the PAC America Coming Together and others in District of Columbia Superior Court, alleging that they conspired to keep him off the ballot in several states and from “taking votes away” from nominee John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election.

November 27, 2007 – Nader’s DC Superior Court lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee and others is moved to District of Columbia federal district court.

December 3, 2007 Nader’s DC federal district court case against the Democratic National Committee and others is dismissed by Judge Jennifer Anderson before the initial scheduling conference.

January 30, 2008 Launches a presidential exploratory committee website for the 2008 election.

February 24, 2008 Nader announces that he is running for president as an independent.

February 28, 2008 Nader chooses former San Francisco Board of Supervisors president Matt Gonzalez as his running mate.

May 2008 Nader files an administrative complaint with the Federal Election Commission against the Democratic National Committee and others that they “conspired to deny him and his running mate ballot access in numerous states as candidates for President and Vice President in the 2004 general election” which they say is against the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971.

November 4, 2008 Nader loses in the presidential election with little to no impact on the electoral map.

November 2009 Nader files a Superior Court lawsuit in Washington County, Maine against the Democratic National Committee, the Maine Democratic Party, the Kerry-Edwards campaign, and others alleging the defendants used illegal tactics to attempt to keep Nader off the ballot in Maine and other states.

June 11, 2010 Nader loses his May 2008 complaint against the FEC and files charges against the Federal Election Commission in DC federal district court.

November 16, 2010 A judge in Maine dismisses a November 2009 lawsuit filed by Nader that accuses Democrats of conspiring to keep him off the ballot in the 2004 presidential race.

June 2011 Relaunches the League of Fans, his sports reform project, and as part of an 11-part sports manifesto, pledges to bring an antitrust suit against the Bowl Championship Series.

November 9, 2011 Nader loses his June 2010 federal case against the FEC and files an appeal.

April 19, 2012 Maine Supreme Judicial Court overturns the 2010 dismissal of the 2009 Superior Court lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee and others.

September 20, 2012 Maine Superior Court Justice Kevin M. Cuddy rules that the 2009 lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee and others will go to trial.

April 2012 Informally endorses former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson for president during a press conference.

May 23, 2013 – The Maine Supreme Court orders that Nader’s lawsuit against the Democratic Party be dismissed.

March 19, 2014-present – Cohosts the Ralph Nader Radio Hour on Pacifica Radio Network.

April 29, 2014 – Publishes a new book, “Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State.”

September 27, 2015 – Nader opens the American Museum of Tort Law in his Winsted, Connecticut, hometown.

July 21, 2016 – Nader is inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.

June 30, 2020 – In a New York Times letter to the editor, Nader reacts to an article condemning the Trump administration’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak. Nader calls for “President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to step aside and let professional public health specialists manage the federal effort against the Covid-19 pandemic.”