Oct. 31, 1931 – Dan Irvin Rather, Jr. is born in Wharton, Texas.
1950-1953 – Attends Sam Houston State Teachers College in Huntsville, Texas and works for the Associated Press. Also attends University of Houston and the South Texas School of Law.
1953 – Graduates with a bachelor's degree in journalism from Sam Houston State Teachers College.
1954-61 – Holds various news positions at outlets including the Houston Chronicle and KTRH Radio.
September 1961 – Rather's reports on Hurricane Carla for a CBS affiliate station earn him notice at CBS News.
1962 – Rather joins CBS News as chief of its southwest bureau in Dallas.
Nov. 22, 1963 – Assigned to cover John. F. Kennedy's trip to Dallas, Texas, Rather reports on the president's assassination. Walter Cronkite announces the news on the CBS Evening News.
1960s -'70s – Rather holds various posts at CBS, including White House correspondent and anchor for CBS Weekend News. His work included reporting from Vietnam and covering the Watergate scandal, during which he had a memorable exchange with President Nixon at a 1974 news conference. Nixon asked him, "Are you running for something?" Rather replied, "No, sir, Mr. President. Are you?"
March 9, 1981 – Replaces Walter Cronkite as anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News
October 1986 - Rather is assaulted on a street in New York by a man who asks him repeatedly, "What's the frequency, Kenneth?" The assailant is later identified as William Tager, a mentally ill man who was convicted of murdering an NBC technician in 1994.
January 1988 – Becomes anchor of 48 Hours, which he will host until 2002. Also conducts confrontational interview with Vice President George H.W. Bush, pressing Bush on the Iran-Contra affair.
1990 – Rather interviews Saddam Hussein after Hussein's invasion of Kuwait. He gains exclusive interview access again in 2003.
1999 – Becomes correspondent for 60 Minutes II.
April 28, 2004 - Rather's 60 Minutes II report reveals abuses at the U.S. military’s Abu Ghraib prison, breaking the story.
Sept. 8, 2004 – A 60 Minutes II report questioning President George W. Bush’s Air National Guard service airs. Later that month, Rather says he can no longer vouch for documents on which the story was based and apologizes for "a mistake in judgment."
Nov. 23, 2004 – Rather announces his retirement as anchor of CBS Evening News. He anchors his final show on March 9 of the following year.
June 20, 2006 – CBS News and Sports President Sean McManus announces Rather will leave CBS.
Sources: Associated Press, CBS, NPR and Poynter.org