President Ronald Reagan played quite a significant part in redefining the government objective and put the Soviet Union under tremendous pressure to end the Cold War. Reagan solidified the conservative point of view for decades after his presidency.
Born in Illinois, on February 6, 1911, he initially decided to be a part of entertainment industry, appearing in over 50 films.
While in Hollywood, Ronald Reagan worked as Screen Actors Guild President and met Nancy (Davis) Reagan, his future wife.
Ronald Reagan later served two terms as California governor. Although he was a Democrat in the beginning, yet Reagan won the two terms of US president as a Republican. Suffering from Alzheimer, he died on June 5, 2004.
Childhood and Education
His father John Edward “Jack” Reagan nicknamed him “Dutch.”
During his initial years as a child, his family lived in a number of towns, finally settling in Illinois, where his father started a shoe shop.
Graduating from Dixon High School, he was an all-rounder. Not only good in sports and cultural activities, Reagan also served as a student body president. At the time of summer vacations, Reagan worked as a lifeguard.
Taking admission at Eureka College, he majored in sociology and economics. At Eureka College, he swam, played football, and also got involved in athletics.
Hollywood Career and Marriages
In 1937, he signed a seven-year agreement with Warner Bros. Over the next thirty years; Ronald Reagan acted in over 50 films.
His most popular stint was the role of George Gipp in the biopic Knute Rockne, All American. He also did quite well in Kings Row, playing the role of an accident victim.
He married actress Jane Wyman. But the couple divorced, Reagan had daughter Maureen with Jane.
At the time of Second World War, because of poor eyesight, he was disqualified from combat duty.
Governorship and Presidential Bid
He made a foray into the political scene in 1964, giving a good speech for Barry Goldwater, the Republican presidential candidate. In 1966, Reagan got the better of Democratic Edmund “Pat” Brown Sr. by around one million votes, becoming the governor of California. Ronald Reagan was elected once again in 1970.
After not so successful attempts for the Republican presidential nomination twice, he finally tasted success in 1980. In 1980’s election, Reagan defeated Democrat Jimmy Carter by getting more than 50 percent of the popular vote. At the age of 69, he was the oldest person elected to US presidency.
1981 Inauguration and Assassination Attempt
In his famous inaugural speech of 1981, he announced that government was the problem rather than offering a solution for the problems.
Ronald Reagan gave White House a touch of glamour with executive mansion redecoration and designer fashions.
On March 30, 1981, as he was leaving the Washington Hilton Hotel with plenty of his staff members, shots rang out and Secret Service agents thrust him into his car.
Once in his limousine, it was found that Reagan had been hit. In the hospital, doctors come to the conclusion that the gunman’s bullet had pierced his lungs, missing the heart by a whisker. Reagan being a fighter of some repute was back at work after just 15 days.
Domestically, he advanced plenty of conservative policies. To stimulate the economy of the country, tax cuts were implemented.
Reagan was also a supporter for an increase in military spending and cut in few social programs.
By 1983, the economy was showing a sign of recovery.
He also made a record with Judge Sandra Day O’Connor appointment as the first woman to the American Supreme Court.
The most important issue of his first term was the Cold War. Terming Soviet Union as “the evil empire,” he put a lot more emphasis on building weapons and troops.
Ronald Reagan also introduced the Reagan Doctrine, which offered help to anti-communist movements in Asia and Africa.
He sent 800 US Marines to Lebanon in the Middle East as a peacekeeping force.
Later Years and Death
After leaving US presidency at the beginning of 1989, he and his wife, Nancy returned to California.
Five years later, he revealed to people of America that he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. On June 5, 2004, Reagan died at his home in Los Angeles, aged 93, making him US longest-lived president at that time.