Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan
Official Portrait of President Reagan 1981.jpg
40th President of the United States
In office
January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989
Vice PresidentGeorge H. W. Bush
Preceded byJimmy Carter
Succeeded byGeorge H. W. Bush
33rd Governor of California
In office
January 2, 1967 – January 6, 1975
Preceded byPat Brown
Succeeded byJerry Brown
President of the Screen Actors Guild
In office
November 16, 1959 – June 12, 1960
Preceded byHoward Keel
Succeeded byGeorge Chandler
In office
November 17, 1947 – November 9, 1952
Preceded byRobert Montgomery
Succeeded byWalter Pidgeon
Personal details
BornRonald Wilson Reagan
(1911-02-06)February 6, 1911
Tampico, Illinois, U.S.
DiedJune 5, 2004(2004-06-05) (aged 93)
Bel Air, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting placeRonald Reagan Presidential Library and Center
34°15′32″N 118°49′14″W / 34°15′32″N 118°49′14″W / 34.25899; -118.82043
Political partyRepublican
Other political
Democratic (before 1962)
Children5, including Maureen, Michael, Patti, and Ron
RelativesNeil Reagan (brother)
Alma materEureka College (BA)
  • Actor
  • politician
  • sports commentator
SignatureCursive signature in ink
Military service
Allegiance United States
Service/branchUS Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg U.S. Army Air Forces
Years of service1937–1945
RankUS-O3 insignia.svg Captain
Unit18th AAF Base Unit

Ronald Wilson Reagan (ən/; February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was an American politician and actor who served as the 40th President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. Prior to the presidency, he was a Hollywood actor and trade union leader before serving as the 33rd Governor of California from 1967 to 1975.

Reagan was raised in a poor family in small towns of northern Illinois. He graduated from Eureka College in 1932 and worked as a sports announcer on several regional radio stations. After moving to Hollywood in 1937, he became an actor and starred in a few major productions. Reagan was twice elected President of the Screen Actors Guild—the labor union for actors—where he worked to root out Communist influence. In the 1950s, he moved into television and was a motivational speaker at General Electric factories. Reagan had been a Democrat until 1962, when he became a conservative and switched to the Republican Party. In 1964, Reagan's speech, "A Time for Choosing", supported Barry Goldwater's foundering presidential campaign and earned him national attention as a new conservative spokesman. Building a network of supporters, he was elected Governor of California in 1966. As governor, Reagan raised taxes, turned a state budget deficit to a surplus, challenged the protesters at the University of California, ordered in National Guard troops during a period of protest movements in 1969, and was re-elected in 1970. He twice ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination, in 1968 and 1976. Four years later in 1980, he won the nomination, and then defeated incumbent president Jimmy Carter. At 69 years, 349 days of age at the time of his inauguration, he became the oldest president-elect to take the oath of office (a distinction now held by Donald Trump, since 2017). Reagan faced former vice president Walter Mondale when he ran for re-election in 1984, and defeated him in a landslide with the largest electoral college victory in American history.

Soon after taking office, Reagan began implementing sweeping new political and economic initiatives. His supply-side economic policies, dubbed "Reaganomics", advocated tax rate reduction to spur economic growth, economic deregulation, and reduction in government spending. In his first term he survived an assassination attempt, spurred the War on Drugs, and fought public sector labor. Over his two terms, the economy saw a reduction of inflation from 12.5% to 4.4%, and an average annual growth of real GDP of 3.4%. Reagan enacted cuts in domestic discretionary spending, cut taxes, and increased military spending which contributed to increased federal outlays overall, even after adjustment for inflation. Foreign affairs dominated his second term, including ending the Cold War, the bombing of Libya, the Iran–Iraq War, and the Iran–Contra affair. In June 1987, four years after he publicly described the Soviet Union as an "evil empire", Reagan challenged Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall!", during a speech at the Brandenburg Gate. He transitioned Cold War policy from détente to rollback by escalating an arms race with the USSR while engaging in talks with Gorbachev. The talks culminated in the INF Treaty, which shrank both countries' nuclear arsenals. Reagan began his presidency during the decline of the Soviet Union, and the Berlin Wall fell just ten months after the end of his term. Germany reunified the following year, and on December 26, 1991 (nearly three years after he left office), the Soviet Union collapsed.

When Reagan left office in 1989, he held an approval rating of 68 percent, matching those of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and later Bill Clinton, as the highest ratings for departing presidents in the modern era.[1] He was the first president since Dwight D. Eisenhower to serve two full terms, after a succession of five prior presidents did not. Although he had planned an active post-presidency, Reagan disclosed in November 1994 that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease earlier that year. Afterward, his informal public appearances became more infrequent as the disease progressed. He died at home on June 5, 2004. An icon among American conservatives, he is viewed favorably in historical rankings of U.S. presidents, and his tenure constituted a realignment toward conservative policies in the United States.

Early life

Ronald Reagan's boyhood home in Dixon, Illinois

Ronald Wilson Reagan was born on February 6, 1911, in an apartment on the second floor of a commercial building in Tampico, Illinois. He was the younger son of Nelle Clyde (née Wilson; 1883–1962) and Jack Reagan (1883–1941).[2] Jack was a salesman and storyteller whose grandparents were Irish Catholic emigrants from County Tipperary,[3] while Nelle was of half English and half Scottish descent (her mother was born in Surrey).[4] Reagan's older brother, Neil Reagan (1908–1996), became an advertising executive.[5]

Reagan's father nicknamed his son "Dutch", due to his "fat little Dutchman"-like appearance and "Dutchboy" haircut;[6] the nickname stuck with him throughout his youth.[6] Reagan's family briefly lived in several towns and cities in Illinois, including Monmouth, Galesburg, and Chicago.[7] In 1919, they returned to Tampico and lived above the H. C. Pitney Variety Store until finally settling in Dixon.[2] After his election as president, Reagan resided in the upstairs White House private quarters, and he would quip that he was "living above the store again".[8]


Ronald Reagan wrote that his mother "always expected to find the best in people and often did".[9] She attended the Disciples of Christ church regularly and was active, and very influential, within it; she frequently led Sunday school services and gave the Bible readings to the congregation during the services. A strong believer in the power of prayer, she led prayer meetings at church and was in charge of mid-week prayers when the pastor was out of town.[10] Her strong commitment to the church is what induced her son Ronald to become a Protestant Christian rather than a Roman Catholic like his father.[4] He also stated that she strongly influenced his own beliefs: "I know that she planted that faith very deeply in me."[11]

According to Paul Kengor, author of God and Ronald Reagan, Reagan had a particularly strong faith in the goodness of people; this faith stemmed from the optimistic faith of his mother[12] and the Disciples of Christ faith,[12] into which he was baptized in 1922.[13] For that period of time, which was long before the civil rights movement, Reagan's opposition to racial discrimination was unusual and commendable. He recalled the time in Dixon when the proprietor of a local inn would not allow black people to stay there, and he brought them back to his house. His mother invited them to stay overnight and have breakfast the next morning.[14] After the closure of the Pitney Store in 1920 and the family's move to Dixon,[15] the midwestern "small universe" had a lasting impression on Reagan.[16]

Formal education

Reagan attended Dixon High School, where he developed interests in acting, sports, and storytelling.[17] His first job involved working as a lifeguard at the Rock River in Lowell Park in 1927. Over a six-year period, Reagan reportedly performed 77 rescues as a lifeguard.[18] He attended Eureka College, a Disciples-oriented liberal arts school, where he became a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, a cheerleader, and studied economics and sociology. While involved, the Miller Center of Public Affairs described him as an "indifferent student". He majored in economics and sociology and graduated with a C grade.[19] He developed a reputation as a "jack of all trades", excelling in campus politics, sports, and theater. He was a member of the football team and captain of the swim team. He was elected student body president and led a student revolt against the college president after the president tried to cut back the faculty.[20]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Ronald Reagan
Alemannisch: Ronald Reagan
Ænglisc: Ronald Reagan
العربية: رونالد ريغان
aragonés: Ronald Reagan
armãneashti: Ronald Reagan
arpetan: Ronald Reagan
অসমীয়া: ৰোনাল্ড ৰেগন
asturianu: Ronald Reagan
Avañe'ẽ: Ronald Reagan
Aymar aru: Ronald Reagan
azərbaycanca: Ronald Reyqan
bamanankan: Ronald Reagan
Bahasa Banjar: Ronald Reagan
Bân-lâm-gú: Ronald Reagan
Basa Banyumasan: Ronald Reagan
башҡортса: Рональд Рейган
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Роналд Рэйган
Bikol Central: Ronald Reagan
Bislama: Ronald Reagan
български: Роналд Рейгън
Boarisch: Ronald Reagan
bosanski: Ronald Reagan
brezhoneg: Ronald Reagan
català: Ronald Reagan
Cebuano: Ronald Reagan
čeština: Ronald Reagan
Chamoru: Ronald Reagan
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Chi-Chewa: Ronald Reagan
chiShona: Ronald Reagan
chiTumbuka: Ronald Reagan
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Deutsch: Ronald Reagan
ދިވެހިބަސް: ރޮނަލްޑް ރޭގަން
dolnoserbski: Ronald Reagan
Ελληνικά: Ρόναλντ Ρήγκαν
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Ronald Reagan
español: Ronald Reagan
Esperanto: Ronald Reagan
estremeñu: Ronald Reagan
euskara: Ronald Reagan
eʋegbe: Ronald Reagan
Fiji Hindi: Ronald Reagan
føroyskt: Ronald Reagan
français: Ronald Reagan
Fulfulde: Ronald Reagan
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Gĩkũyũ: Ronald Reagan
ગુજરાતી: રોનાલ્ડ રીગન
गोंयची कोंकणी / Gõychi Konknni: Ronald Reagan
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Ronald Reagan
Hawaiʻi: Ronald Reagan
hornjoserbsce: Ronald Reagan
hrvatski: Ronald Reagan
Ilokano: Ronald Reagan
বিষ্ণুপ্রিয়া মণিপুরী: রোনাল্ড রেগন
Bahasa Indonesia: Ronald Reagan
interlingua: Ronald Reagan
Interlingue: Ronald Reagan
ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ/inuktitut: Ronald Reagan
isiXhosa: Ronald Reagan
isiZulu: Ronald Reagan
íslenska: Ronald Reagan
italiano: Ronald Reagan
Basa Jawa: Ronald Reagan
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Kapampangan: Ronald Reagan
kaszëbsczi: Ronald Reagan
kernowek: Ronald Reagan
Kinyarwanda: Ronald Reagan
Kirundi: Ronald Reagan
Kiswahili: Ronald Reagan
Kreyòl ayisyen: Ronald Reagan
Кыргызча: Рональд Рейган
ລາວ: Ronald Reagan
latgaļu: Ronalds Reigans
latviešu: Ronalds Reigans
Lëtzebuergesch: Ronald Reagan
lietuvių: Ronald Reagan
Limburgs: Ronald Reagan
lingála: Ronald Reagan
la .lojban.: Ronald Reagan
Luganda: Ronald Reagan
lumbaart: Ronald Reagan
македонски: Роналд Реган
Malagasy: Ronald Reagan
მარგალური: რონალდ რეიგანი
Bahasa Melayu: Ronald Reagan
Baso Minangkabau: Ronald Reagan
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Ronald Reagan
Mirandés: Ronald Reagan
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ရော်နယ် ရေဂင်
Nāhuatl: Ronald Reagan
Dorerin Naoero: Ronald Reagan
Na Vosa Vakaviti: Ronald Reagan
Nederlands: Ronald Reagan
Nedersaksies: Ronald Reagan
नेपाल भाषा: रोनाल्द रेगन
Napulitano: Ronald Reagan
Nordfriisk: Ronald Reagan
Norfuk / Pitkern: Ronald Reagan
norsk nynorsk: Ronald Reagan
Nouormand: Ronald Reagan
occitan: Ronald Reagan
олык марий: Рейган, Рональд
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Ronald Reagan
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਰੋਨਲਡ ਰੀਗਨ
Pälzisch: Ronald Reagan
Pangasinan: Ronald Reagan
پنجابی: رونالڈ ریگن
Papiamentu: Ronald Reagan
ភាសាខ្មែរ: រ៉ូណល់ វីហ្កេន
Piemontèis: Ronald Reagan
Tok Pisin: Ronald Reagan
Plattdüütsch: Ronald Reagan
português: Ronald Reagan
Qaraqalpaqsha: Ronald Reagan
qırımtatarca: Ronald Reygan
reo tahiti: Ronald Reagan
Ripoarisch: Ronald W. Reagan
română: Ronald Reagan
rumantsch: Ronald Reagan
Runa Simi: Ronald Reagan
саха тыла: Рональд Рейган
Gagana Samoa: Ronald Reagan
संस्कृतम्: रोनाल्द रेगन
Sängö: Ronald Reagan
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Sesotho sa Leboa: Ronald Reagan
Setswana: Ronald Reagan
sicilianu: Ronald Reagan
Simple English: Ronald Reagan
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slovenčina: Ronald Reagan
slovenščina: Ronald Reagan
словѣньскъ / ⰔⰎⰑⰂⰡⰐⰠⰔⰍⰟ: Роналдъ Рєиганъ
ślůnski: Ronald Reagan
Soomaaliga: Ronald Reagan
Sranantongo: Ronald Reagan
српски / srpski: Роналд Реган
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Ronald Reagan
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svenska: Ronald Reagan
Tagalog: Ronald Reagan
Taqbaylit: Ronald Reagan
tarandíne: Ronald Reagan
татарча/tatarça: Рональд Рейган
Tsetsêhestâhese: Ronald Reagan
Türkçe: Ronald Reagan
Türkmençe: Ronald Reagan
українська: Рональд Рейган
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: رېگان
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vèneto: Ronald Reagan
vepsän kel’: Reigan Ronal'd
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文言: 列根
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