Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan

Born: Feb 6, 1911 in Tampico, IL
Died: June 5, 2004 (at age 93) in Los Angeles, CA
Nationality: American
Famous For: 40th President of the USA

Ronald Reagan was elected on November 4, 1980 as the 40th President of the US. He was re-elected in 1984, being the oldest man to be the President at the age of 73.

Reagan’s Early Career

Reagan joined the Army Reserves in 1937 in the capacity of private and received a promotion soon after to a second lieutenant. It was during this time that he was discovered by a Warner Brothers agent who extended an offer to Reagan for a seven-year contract.

On January 24, 1940, Reagan married Jane Wyman, whom he had met on the set of the Brother Rat movie. The couple had children together – Maureen (born January 4, 1941) and Michael (born March 18, 1945).

Reagan was called back to active duty in 1945 and he was posted to a position in the Motion Picture Unit located in Culver City, California, where he created more than 400 training films. He was promoted to captain on July 22, 1943, and then discharged from the Army on December 9, 1945. From 1945 to 1965, Reagan resumed acting and made 53 movies and one TV movie.

Reagan Begins His Political Career

Jane Wyman and Ronald Reagan divorced in 1949 and Reagan went on to work on a campaign Helen Douglas who was a senate candidate. Reagan also campaigned for Eisenhower as a Democrat. In the meantime, Reagan became an official spokesperson for GE where he toured the country and gave speeches.

Reagan married Nancy Davis on March 4, 1952, and the couple had a total of two children together – Patricia, born on October 21, 1952, and Ronald Prescott, born on May 20, 1958.

He next campaigned for Eisenhower as a Democrat in 1956 and he also went on to campaign for Nixon in 1960. He officially changed political parties in 1962 to Republican. In 1964, Reagan officially began his career in politics when he gave an address for Goldwater on television entitled “A Time for Choosing.” He decided to write his autobiography in 1965.

Reagan Becomes Governor

Reagan was successful in defeating Governor Edmund Brown by a landslide in 1966 and because of this success he became one of the main contenders for the presidential nomination in 1968 for the Republicans. He initially decided to run in the presidential race, but later joined the bid for Richard Nixon’s presidency.

Reagan was re-elected governor in 1970 and it was then that he made the announcement of his candidacy to run for the presidency again in 1975. Reagan lost his nomination, but he laid a foundation for the campaign for election in 1980.

Leadership as President

In 1980, Reagan successfully ran against Jimmy Carter for the presidency and won. He was only in office for two months when John W. Hinckley Jr. shot him on March 30, 1981, just outside the Hilton Hotel located in Washington, D.C. The bullet missed his heart, but he still needed surgery to remove it.

He spent his time in office as president trying to cut taxes, lower the reliance of people on the government, and increase the national forces. He did accomplish all of those things and in addition, he met with Mikhail Gorbachev, the Russian leader of the time. The two of them jointly agreed to eliminate some nuclear weapons during the Cold War.

Reagan had a second term as the President and during that term, a scandal came to light where it was said that the government had exchanged weapons for the release of hostages. Reagan initially denied any knowledge about this, but later said it was a “mistake.”

Reagan’s Later Years

After his second term as president, Ronald Reagan retired and was diagnosed with Alzheimer ’s disease. He announced this diagnosis in an open letter to the American public on November 5, 1994. He passed away at the age of 93 on June 5, 2004.