|40th President of the United States|
January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989
|Vice President||George H. W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Jimmy Carter|
|Succeeded by||George H. W. Bush|
|33rd Governor of California|
January 2, 1967 – January 6, 1975
|Preceded by||Pat Brown|
|Succeeded by||Jerry Brown|
|President of the Screen Actors Guild|
|Preceded by||Robert Montgomery|
|Succeeded by||Walter Pidgeon|
|Preceded by||Howard Keel|
|Succeeded by||George Chandler|
|Born||Ronald Wilson Reagan
February 6, 1911
Tampico, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||June 5, 2004
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, California, U.S.
|Political party||Republican (1962–2004)|
|Democratic (Before 1962)|
|Spouse(s)||Jane Wyman (1940–1949)
Nancy Davis (1952–2004)
Michael Reagan (adopted)
|Alma mater||Eureka College|
|Religion||Disciples of Christ
|Service/branch||United States Army
United States Army Air Forces
|Years of service||1937–45|
Ronald Wilson Reagan (how to say: /ˈrɒnld ˈwɪlsn ˈreɪɡən/; February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was the 40th President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. Before becoming president, he was the 33rd Governor of California from 1967 to 1975 and served twice as President of the Screen Actors Guild from 1947 to 1952 and again from 1959 to 1960. Reagan was also a movie, television and radio actor before he began his career into politics.
Reagan was born in Tampico, Illinois. Reagan had a successful career in Hollywood and had appeared in 53 movies. He married actress Jane Wyman in 1940. The couple divorced in 1949. They had three children. Reagan then married Nancy Davis in 1952. They had two children. Their marriage would last until Reagan's death in 2004.
Before winning his president election in 1980, Reagan ran for president two times in 1968 and in 1976. He was the oldest person elected president of the United States at the age of 69. He is known as the "Great Communicator" because he was a good public speaker and as the "Teflon president" because any criticism or scandals against him never stuck or affected his popularity. Reagan still remains one of the most popular presidents in American history. Reagan is the only president of the United States to have been divorced.
- 1 Early Life
- 2 Acting career
- 3 Entrance into politics
- 4 Governor of California
- 5 Presidency
- 6 Notable speeches
- 7 Visit to USS Constellation (CV-64)
- 8 After the presidency
- 9 Death and funeral
- 10 Honors
- 11 Legacy
- 12 References
- 13 Other websites
- 14 Related pages
Early Life[change | change source]
Ronald Wilson Reagan was born on February 6, 1911 in a small apartment building in Tampico, Illinois to Jack and Nelle Reagan. He was the younger of their two sons. His brother's name was Neil. His mother was a Protestant of English and Scottish descent; his father was a Roman Catholic of Irish descent.
While Reagan was a child, his family moved to different places in Illinois. His family settled in Dixon, a small town in Illinois. They lived in a small house in Dixon. His family was very poor and Ronald did not have much as a child. In high school Reagan loved to act. He loved athletics and became a life guard who saved 77 lives.
After Reagan graduated from Eureka College in 1932, he became a sports announcer at WHO, a news radio station. He was known for being good at recreating baseball games and making them interesting. At this time all they would get is the scores so it would have been very hard for someone to come up with what happened in the game. He was fired for not telling people who the sponsors were. Reagan was soon quickly re-hired because they could not find anyone as good as him to re-create the baseball games.
Acting career[change | change source]
His first screen credit was the starring role in the 1937 movie Love Is on the Air. He then starred in many movies such as Dark Victory with Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart. Before the movie Santa Fe Trail with Errol Flynn in 1940, he played the role of George "The Gipper" Gipp in the movie Knute Rockne, All American; from it, he acquired the lifelong nickname "the Gipper". In 1941, experts voted him the fifth most popular star from the younger generation in Hollywood.
Reagan's favorite acting role was as a double amputee in 1942's Kings Row, in which he recites the line, "Where's the rest of me?", later used as the title of his 1965 autobiography. Many movie critics considered Kings Row to be his best movie, though the movie received bad reviews by New York Times critic Bosley Crowther.
Although Reagan called Kings Row the movie that "made me a star", he was unable to keep up on his success because he was ordered to active duty with the U.S. Army at San Francisco two months after the movie's release.
In the post-war era, after being separated from almost four years of World War II stateside service with the 1st Motion Picture Unit in December 1945, Reagan co-starred in such movies such as in, The Voice of the Turtle, John Loves Mary, The Hasty Heart, Bedtime for Bonzo, Cattle Queen of Montana, Tennessee's Partner, Hellcats of the Navy and The Killers (his last movie) in a 1964 remake. Throughout his movie career, his mother often answered much of his fan mail. Reagan was also a spokesperson. He hosted the General Electric Theater since its debut in 1953. He was fired in 1962.
Entrance into politics[change | change source]
Reagan was very active in politics near the end of his acting career. Although he used to be a Democrat who strongly supported the New Deal and admired Franklin Roosevelt. Over time, Reagan became a conservative Republican because he felt the federal government had too much power and authority. He made a famous speech speaking out against socialized medicine (government run health care).
Reagan endorsed Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon for the United States presidency. The last time Reagan supported a Democrat was when Helen Gahagan Douglas ran for the United States senate.
During the 1964 presidential election, Reagan supported Republican candidate Barry Goldwater by making a famous speech called "A Time For Choosing". In the speech he spoke against government programs and high taxes. Even though Goldwater did not win the election, Reagan gained popularity from it. From Reagan's speech, the most important and famous part of his "A Time For Choosing" speech were,
You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness.
After Reagan gave this speech, many businesspeople thought that Reagan could run for Governor of California.
Governor of California[change | change source]
After giving a speech of Barry Goldwater's presidential campaign in 1964, he was persuaded to run for governor. Reagan ran as a Republican against the then governor, Pat Brown. During his first term, Reagan stopped hiring government workers to slow the growth of the state workforce. Reagan also approved tax increases to balance the state budget.
Reagan was elected to a second term in 1970. Governor Reagan worked with the Democratic Party majority in the state legislature to help create a major reform of the welfare system in 1971. The reform helped give money to the poor and increase the pay of the rich. During his term as governor, Reagan served as the President of the Republican Governors Association from 1968 to 1969.
During his term as governor, he played a major role in California's educational system. He raised student loans. This caused a massive protest between Reagan and the college students. Reagan would soon be criticized of his views of the educational system.
Presidency[change | change source]
Reagan ran for president in 1968 (he was not nominated), again in 1976 (he was not nominated again), but his run for president in 1980 was successful. He was nominated by the Republican Party. When he won the election, Reagan overcame Democrat Jimmy Carter to become president. Reagan was sworn in as president on January 20, 1981.
Reagan believed that the government should be small, not big - this means that the government should not interfere in people's lives very much or interfere with what businesses do. He believed in supply-side economics, which was called Reaganomics and Voodoo economics (by his opposition) during his term. He lowered everybody's income taxes by 25% and cut spending in many government departments.
He also lowered inflation from 14% to 4% and he vetoed 78 bills. Reagan's economic plan resulted in a bad economy during the year 1982, but the economy turned around in 1983. The economy was the greatest it was since many years ago. Reagan called it "Morning in America". Reagan was re-elected in a major landslide in 1984 by beating Democrat Walter Mondale. Reagan won 49 out of the 50 states. He carried more electoral votes than any other president in American history. Reagan was sworn in as president once again on January 20, 1985.
In foreign policy, Reagan ended detente (the policy of being friendly to the Soviet Union) by ordering the largest peacetime military buildup in American history. The U.S. government had to borrow a lot of money to pay for it. He had many new weapons built and began research on a missile defense system which would destroy missiles to prevent a nuclear war from happening. The program was called SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative).
He directed money to anti-communist movements all over the world that wanted to overthrow their communist government. He ordered multiple military operations including the invasion of Grenada and the Libya bombing. Reagan's reputation was badly hurt by the Iran-Contra Affair, but it eventually recovered.
In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev became the new leader of the Soviet Union (which was in bad shape and soon to collapse). Reagan had many talks with him. Their first meeting together was at the Reykjavík Summit in Iceland. They both became good friends. Near the end of his term, they both signed the INF treaty (which greatly reduced the amount of nuclear missiles in both countries).
Reagan left office with high rankings on January 20, 1989 when his Vice President George H. W. Bush became president.
Assassination attempt[change | change source]
Reagan was nearly killed in an assassination attempt that happened on Monday, March 30, 1981. 69 days after becoming President, he was leaving after a speaking engagement at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C.. He was shot by John Hinckley. Reagan soon made a fast recovery.
Notable speeches[change | change source]
Tear down this wall[change | change source]
Reagan's speech was delivered at the Brandenburg Gate in what was then West Berlin, Germany on June 12, 1987. Reagan challenged Gorbachev, if he was serious about peace, to remove open East Berlin and remove the restrictions on travel. Referring to the Brandenburg Gate and the Berlin Wall he said,
We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev...Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
Audio and text of this speech is available here .
Evil empire[change | change source]
Reagan's Evil Empire speech was delivered to the National Association of Evangelicals in Orlando, Florida. It is his first recorded use of the phrase. Speaking about the nuclear arms race he depicted the Soviet Union as evil.
In your discussions of the nuclear freeze proposals, I urge you to beware the temptation of pride, the temptation of blithely declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil.
Audio and text of this speech is available here .
Visit to USS Constellation (CV-64)[change | change source]
On 20 August 1981, Reagan was the honorable guest of Captain Dennis Brooks, commanding officer of the USS Constellation (CV-64). President Reagan arrived on the USS Constellation (CV-64) by helicopter. He spoke to the ship's crew, ate lunch with them and watched a United States Navy tactical display at sea.
President Reagan then re-enlisted some US Navy personnel. He then was introduced to Special Agent Craig Goodwin of the Naval Investigative Service (NIS). He was the Special Agent who was assigned aboard the USS Constellation (CV-64). Special Agent Craig Goodwin was later awarded one of the highest civilian medals for his intelligence work, the Meritorious Civilian Service Medal.
After the presidency[change | change source]
He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1993 by President George H. W. Bush. Soon afterwards the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation created the Ronald Reagan Freedom Award for people who made a big change for freedom. In 1990, Reagan wrote an autobiography titled, An American Life.
Even after when he left office, Reagan had a close friendship with both Thatcher and Gorbachev. They would often visit him at his home.
Alzheimer's disease[change | change source]
I have recently been told that I am one of the millions of Americans who will be afflicted with Alzheimer's Disease... At the moment I feel just fine. I intend to live the remainder of the years God gives me on this earth doing the things I have always done... I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead. Thank you, my friends. May God always bless you.
Expressions[change | change source]
After announcing his disease, many people sent supporting letters to his California home, but there was also an opinion based on unfinished evidence that continued how long Reagan had showed symptoms of mental decline.
White House Correspondent Memoirs[change | change source]
In her memoirs, former CBS White House correspondent Lesley Stahl remembers about her final meeting with the president, in 1986: "Reagan didn't seem to know who I was. ... Oh, my, he's gonzo, I thought. I have to go out on the lawn tonight and tell my countrymen that the president of the United States is a doddering space cadet." But then, at the end, he regained his alertness. As she described it, "I had come that close to reporting that Reagan was senile."
Progression[change | change source]
As the years went on, the disease slowly destroyed Reagan's mental capacity. He was only able to recognize a few people, including his wife, Nancy. He remained active, however; he took walks through parks near his home and on beaches, played golf regularly, and until 1999 he often went to his office in nearby Century City.
Reagan suffered a fall at his Bel Air home on January 13, 2001, resulting in a broken hip. The fracture was repaired the following day. Reagan, 89 years old, returned home later that week, although he faced difficult physical therapy at home. On February 6, 2001, Reagan reached the age of 90, becoming the third former president to do so (the other two being John Adams and Herbert Hoover, with Gerald Ford later reaching 90).
Reagan's public appearances became much less frequent with the progression of the disease. His family then decided that he would live in quiet semi-isolation with his wife Nancy. Nancy Reagan told CNN's Larry King in 2001 that very few visitors were allowed to see her husband because she felt that "Ronnie would want people to remember him as he was."
Following her husband's diagnosis and death, Mrs. Reagan became a stem-cell research advocate. She urged Congress and President George W. Bush to support federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, something Bush opposed. In 2009, she praised President Barack Obama for lifting restrictions on such research. Mrs. Reagan has said that she believes that it could lead to a cure for Alzheimer's.
Death and funeral[change | change source]
Reagan was granted a state funeral. It was held at the Washington National Cathedral. President George W. Bush and former presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton went to the funeral. First Lady Laura Bush and former first ladies Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, and Barbara Bush also went. Former First Lady Lady Bird Johnson did not go to the funeral because of poor health.
Foreign leaders also attended Reagan's funeral, Mikhail Gorbachev, Prime Minister of United Kingdom Tony Blair, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and interim presidents Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan and Ghazi al-Yawer of Iraq.
Honors[change | change source]
On June 3, 2009, Nancy Reagan unveiled a statue of her late husband in the United States Capitol rotunda. The statue represents the state of California in the National Statuary Hall Collection. Following Reagan's death, both major American political parties agreed to erect a statue of Reagan in the place of that of Thomas Starr King. The day before, President Obama signed the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission Act into law, establishing a commission to plan activities to mark the upcoming centenary of Reagan's birth.
Independence Day 2011 saw the unveiling of another statue to Reagan this time in the British capital of London, outside the American Embassy, Grosvenor Square. The unveiling was supposed to be attended by Reagan's wife Nancy, but she did not attend. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice took her place and read a statement on her behalf. The First Lady's absence President Reagan's friend and the British Prime Minister during Reagan's presidency Baroness Thatcher was also unable to attend due to frail health.
Legacy[change | change source]
Reagan, by public opinion, is one of the most popular American presidents. His legacy is strongly admired among many conservatives and Republicans. The legacy of his economic policies is still divided between people who believe that the government should be smaller and those who believe the government should take a more active role in regulating the economy. While some of his foreign policies were controversial, many credit Ronald Reagan for peacefully ending the Cold War.
References[change | change source]
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- "The White House", The White House, http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/ronaldreagan, retrieved 25 January, 2010
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- "Cupid's Influence on the Film Box-Office". The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956) (Melbourne, Vic.: National Library of Australia): p. 7 Supplement: The Argus Week-end Magazine. October 4, 1941. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8208562. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- Reagan, Ronald (1965). Where's the Rest of Me?. New York: Duell, Sloan, and Pearce. ISBN 0-283-98771-5.
- Wood, Brett. "Kings Row". TCM website. Turner Classic Movies. http://www.tcm.com/thismonth/article/?cid=17922. Retrieved March 24, 2009.
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- "Ronald Reagan". Internet Movie Database. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001654/. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
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- Michael Reagan (February 4, 2011). "Ronald Reagan's Son Remembers The Day When GE Fired His Dad". investors.com. http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=562237&p=2. Retrieved February 5, 2011.
- "First Principles - Ronald Reagan on Franklin D. Roosevelt". First Principles Journal.com. http://www.firstprinciplesjournal.com/articles.aspx?article=1082. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
- Regan, Ronald (1990). An American Life: The Autobiography. New York City: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0671691988. http://books.google.co.uk/books?isbn=0671691988. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
- "The Crist Switch: Top 10 Political Defections". Time. May 2010. http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1894529_1894528_1894518,00.html. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
- Reagan, Ronald (1964). "A Time for Choosing". pbs.org. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/primary-resources/reagan-goldwater/. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
- "Ronald Reagan". Governors.library.ca.gov. http://governors.library.ca.gov/33-Reagan.html. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
- "Reagan nominated for governor of California". History.com. http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/reagan-becomes-governor-of-california. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
- "Welfare Reform: Another Win For The Gipper". Ashbrook.org. http://ashbrook.org/publications/oped-hayward-99-gipper/. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
- "Chris Christie kicks off term as Republican Governors Association chairman". New York Daily News.com. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/chris-christie-kicks-term-republican-governors-association-chairman-article-1.1525091. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
- ""Morning in America"". US History.org. http://www.ushistory.org/us/59a.asp. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
- "Ronald Reagan: The 'Great Communicator'". CNN.com. http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/06/05/reagan.obit/index.html. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
- "Reagan Will Face Surgery Today for Cancer on Nose". LA Times.com. http://articles.latimes.com/1987-07-31/news/mn-216_1_basal-cell. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
- "Remembering the Assassination Attempt on Ronald Reagan". CNN.com. http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0103/30/lkl.00.html. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
- "20 August 1981 – Remarks on Board the U.S.S. Constellation off the Coast of California". Reagan.utexas.edu. http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1981/82081a.htm. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
- "The Ronald Reagan Freedom Award". Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. Archived from the original on October 16, 2006. http://web.archive.org/web/20061016075344/http://www.reaganfoundation.org/programs/cpa/awards.asp. Retrieved February 24, 2007.
- Gordon, Michael R. (November 6, 1994). "In Poignant Public Letter, Reagan Reveals That He Has Alzheimer's". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1994/11/06/us/in-poignant-public-letter-reagan-reveals-that-he-has-alzheimer-s.html?pagewanted=all. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
- "When Did Ronald Reagan Have Alzheimer's? The Debate Goes On". CBS News. February 6, 2011. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20030791-503544.html. Retrieved February 8, 2013.
- "The Alzheimer's Letter". PBS. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/reagan/filmmore/reference/primary/alzheimers.html. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
- Altman, Lawrence K (November 13, 1994). "November 6–12: Amid Rumors; Reagan Discloses His Alzheimer's". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1994/11/13/weekinreview/nov-6-12-amid-rumors-reagan-discloses-his-alzheimer-s.html. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
- "President Ronald Reagan's Alzheimer's Disease". Radio National. June 7, 2004. http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/healthreport/president-ronald-reagans-alzheimers-disease/3419232. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
- Lesley Stahl (1999). Reporting Live. Simon & Schuster. pp. 256 & 318. ISBN 0-684-82930-4.
- Altman, Lawrence K (October 5, 1997). "Reagan's Twighlight– A special report; A President Fades Into a World Apart". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1997/10/05/us/reagan-s-twilight-a-special-report-a-president-fades-into-a-world-apart.html. Retrieved June 18, 2008.
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- Gordon, Craig (March 9, 2009). "Nancy Reagan praises Obama". Politico.com. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/19787.html. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
- "Nancy Reagan plea on stem cells". BBC News. May 10, 2004. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3700015.stm. Retrieved June 6, 2007.
- "State Funeral for President Ronald W. Reagan June 11, 2004". Nationalcathedral.org. http://www.nationalcathedral.org/about/presidentialFuneralReagan.shtml. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
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- "Ronald Reagan statue unveiled at US Embassy in London". BBC News. July 4, 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14009137. Retrieved August 12, 2011.
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- "Best Sellers - The New York Times". The New York Times.com. March 24, 2013. http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/2013-03-24/e-book-nonfiction/list.html. Retrieved April 12, 2014.
- "Obama is worst president since WWII: poll". New York Post.com. July 2, 2014. http://nypost.com/2014/07/02/obama-worst-president-since-wwii-poll/. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
Other websites[change | change source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Ronald Reagan|
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Ronald Reagan|
Related pages[change | change source]
- Reagan Era
- supply-side economics
- Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
- Iran-Contra Affair
- USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76)
- Portrait of Ronald Reagan
- What would Reagan do?