Ronald Reagan

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Ronald Wilson Reagan (R) was the 40th president of the United States, from 1981-1989. Longest-lived president at age 90 (as of 2001).

Child of an alcoholic father, Reagan developed an early gift for storytelling and acting. He was a first-rate radio announcer of Chicago Cubs games, getting only the bare outlines of the game from a ticker and relying on his imagination and storytelling gifts to flesh out the game. Once in 1934, during the ninth inning of a Cubs-Cardinals game, the wire went dead. Reagan smoothly improvised the play-by-play.

Reagan had a successful career in Hollywood as a second-rank leading man, as his face and body were as handsome as his voice. There he acquired the nickname "the Gipper," which he retained the rest of his life.

Ronald Reagan began his political life as a staunch New Deal / Franklin D. Roosevelt supporter. He gradually became a staunch anti-Communist. His political career started through the presidency of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). He gained political stature through radio broadcasts and speaking tours sponsored by the General Electric company.

In 1966, he was elected governor of California and tried to gain the Republican presidential nomination in 1976 over the incumbent Gerald Ford. After his defeat at the Republican Conventionhe want on to be elected president in 1980 and 1984. During his presidency, Reagan survived an assassination attempt by John Hinckley, Jr. Like most successful politicians, he had great stage presence, and great instincts for how to come across to people and make them like him.

He was:

  • anti-Communist
  • in favor of tax cuts
  • in favor of smaller non-military government
  • in favor of removing regulations on corporations
  • supportive of business interests, both small and large
  • supportive of some individual liberties
  • tough on crime
  • a big fan of jellybeans

He is credited with:

Debate continues as to his impact in:

He was the first divorced person to be elected president.

During his administration, there was a major scandal and investigation of his administration's covert support of wars in Iran and Nicaragua in what came to be known as the Iran-Contra Affair.

Reagan currently suffers from Alzheimers disease.

Major Legislation Signed

Major Legislation Vetoed

Supreme court Appointments

Sandra Day O'Connor - 1981
William Rehnquist - Chief Justice, 1986 (an associate justice since 1972)
Antonin Scalia - 1986
Anthony M. Kennedy - 1988

Inaugural Addresses:


See also: