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Ronald Wilson Reagan (/ ˈ r eɪ ɡ ən / RAY-gən; February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was an American politician who served as the 40th president of the United States from 1981 to 1989 and became a highly influential voice of modern conservatism.
- Ronald Reagan’s Childhood and Education
- Ronald Reagan’s Hollywood Career and Marriages
- Golden State Governorship and Bid For The Presidency
- 1981 Inauguration and Assassination Attempt
- Ronald Reagan’s Domestic Agenda
- Ronald Reagan and Foreign Affairs
- 1984 Reelection and Iran-Contra Affair
- Ronald Reagan’s Later Years
Ronald Wilson Reagan was born on February 6, 1911, in Tampico, Illinois, to Edward “Jack” Reagan (1883-1941), a shoe salesman, and Nelle Wilson Reagan (1883-1962). The family, which included older son Neil Reagan (1908-1996), resided in an apartment that lacked indoor plumbing and running water and was located along the small town’s main street. Reagan’s father nicknamed him Dutch as a baby, saying he resembled “a fat little Dutchman.”During Reagan’s early childhood, his family lived in a ser...
In 1937, while in Southern California to cover the Chicago Cubs’ spring training season, Ronald Reagan did a screen test for the Warner Brothers movie studio. The studio signed him to a contract, and that same year he made his film debut in “Love is on the Air,” playing a radio news reporter. Over the next three decades he appeared in more than 50 movies. Among his best-known roles was that of Notre Dame football star George Gipp in the 1940 biographical film “Knute Rockne All American.” In t...
In his younger years, Ronald Reagan was a member of the Democratic Party and campaigned for Democratic candidates; however, his views grew more conservative over time, and in the early 1960s he officially became a Republican.In 1964, Reagan stepped into the national political spotlight when he gave a well-received televised speech for Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater (1909-1998), a prominent conservative. Two years later, in his first race for public office, Reagan defeated D...
Ronald Reagan was sworn into office on January 20, 1981. In his inaugural address, Reagan famously said of America’s then-troubled economy, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem.”After the more informal Carter years, Reagan and his wife Nancy ushered in a new era of glamour in the nation’s capital, which became known as Hollywood on the Potomac. The first lady wore designer fashions, hosted numerous state dinners and oversaw a major...
On the domestic front, President Ronald Reagan implemented policies to reduce the federal government’s reach into the daily lives and pocketbooks of Americans, including tax cuts intended to spur growth (known as Reaganomics). He also advocated for increases in military spending, reductions in certain social programs and measures to deregulate business.By 1983, the nation’s economy had started to recover and enter a period of prosperity that would extend through the rest of Reagan’s presidenc...
In foreign affairs, Ronald Reagan’s first term in office was marked by a massive buildup of U.S. weapons and troops, as well as an escalation of the Cold War (1946-1991) with the Soviet Union, which the president dubbed “the evil empire.” Key to his administration’s foreign policy initiatives was the Reagan Doctrine, under which America provided aid to anticommunist movements in Africa, Asia and Latin America. In 1983, Reagan announced the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), a plan to develop...
In November 1984, Ronald Reagan was reelected in a landslide, defeating Walter Mondale and his running mate Geraldine Ferraro (1935-), the first female vice-presidential candidate from a major U.S. political party. Reagan, who announced it was “morning again in America,” carried 49 out of 50 states in the election and received 525 out of 538 electoral votes, the largest number ever won by an American presidential candidate.
After leaving the White House in January 1989, Ronald Reagan and his wife returned to California, where they lived in Los Angeles. In 1991, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum opened in Simi Valley, California.In November 1994, Reagan revealed in a handwritten letter to the American people that he had been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Nearly a decade later, on June 5, 2004, he died at his Los Angeles home at age 93, making him the nation’s longest-lived president...
- Early years
- Personal life
- Electoral history
- International relations
At the end of his two terms in office, Ronald Reagan viewed with satisfaction the achievements of his innovative program known as the Reagan Revolution, which aimed to reinvigorate the American people and reduce their reliance upon Government. He felt he had fulfilled his campaign pledge of 1980 to restore the great, confident roar of American progress and growth and optimism. Overall, the Reagan years saw a restoration of prosperity, and the goal of peace through strength seemed to be within grasp.
On February 6, 1911, Ronald Wilson Reagan was born to Nelle and John Reagan in Tampico, Illinois. He attended high school in nearby Dixon and then worked his way through Eureka College. There, he studied economics and sociology, played on the football team, and acted in school plays. Upon graduation, he became a radio sports announcer. A screen test in 1937 won him a contract in Hollywood. During the next two decades he appeared in 53 films.
From his first marriage to actress Jane Wyman, he had two children, Maureen and Michael. Maureen passed away in 2001. In 1952 he married Nancy Davis, who was also an actress, and they had two children, Patricia Ann and Ronald Prescott.
Ronald Reagan won the Republican Presidential nomination in 1980 and chose as his running mate former Texas Congressman and United Nations Ambassador George Bush. Voters troubled by inflation and by the year-long confinement of Americans in Iran swept the Republican ticket into office. Reagan won 489 electoral votes to 49 for President Jimmy Carter.
On January 20, 1981, Reagan took office. Only 69 days later he was shot by a would-be assassin, but quickly recovered and returned to duty. His grace and wit during the dangerous incident caused his popularity to soar.
Dealing skillfully with Congress, Reagan obtained legislation to stimulate economic growth, curb inflation, increase employment, and strengthen national defense. He embarked upon a course of cutting taxes and Government expenditures, refusing to deviate from it when the strengthening of defense forces led to a large deficit.
In foreign policy, Reagan sought to achieve peace through strength. During his two terms he increased defense spending 35 percent, but sought to improve relations with the Soviet Union. In dramatic meetings with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, he negotiated a treaty that would eliminate intermediate-range nuclear missiles. Reagan declared war against international terrorism, sending American bombers against Libya after evidence came out that Libya was involved in an attack on American soldiers in a West Berlin nightclub.
The Presidential biographies on WhiteHouse.gov are from The Presidents of the United States of America, by Frank Freidel and Hugh Sidey. Copyright 2006 by the White House Historical Association.
Ronald Wilson Reagan was born on February 6, 1911, in Tampico, Illinois, to John Edward "Jack" Reagan and Nellie Wilson Reagan. His father nicknamed him "Dutch," saying he resembled "a fat little ...
- 2 min
Ronald Reagan, 40th president of the United States (1981–89), noted for his conservative Republicanism, his fervent anticommunism, and his appealing personal style. The only movie actor ever to become president, he had a remarkable skill as an orator that earned him the title ‘the Great Communicator.’
Ronald Reagan, Actor: The Killers. Ronald Reagan had quite a prolific career, having catapulted from a Warner Bros. contract player and television star, into serving as president of the Screen Actors Guild, the governorship of California (1967-1975), and lastly, two terms as President of the United States (1981-1989). Ronald Wilson Reagan was born in Tampico, Illinois, to Nelle ...
- February 6, 1911
- June 5, 2004
Nov 13, 2009 · But before his years of Hollywood stardom, and long before Washington, Ronald Reagan was born on February 6, 1911, in Tampico, a small town in northwestern Illinois.