Ronald Reagan Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1911 - 2004 *** Full Name: Ronald Wilson Reagan *** Nickname: Dutch and the Gipper *** Occupation: American Actor, Politician and 40th President of the United States *** Date of Birth: Ronald Reagan was born on February 6th 1911 *** Place of Birth: Ronald Reagan was born in Tampico, Illinois, U.S. *** Family background: His father was John Edward “Jack” Reagan and his mother Nelle Clyde Wilson. His father had been a salesman and of Irish Catholic descent while his mother was of Scottish and English descent *** Early life and childhood: He grew up with an older brother Neil *** Education: Ronald Reagan attended Dixon High School before attended Eureka College, he was a keen sportsman, enjoyed acting in school and storytelling ***
Ronald Reagan Fact 1: Ronald Reagan was born on February 6th 1911 and during the 20th century period in history when there were world changing events happening including the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Cold War.
Ronald Reagan Fact 2: Once graduating from college he headed for Iowa when became a radio announcer and moving on to Des Moines he became the Chicago Cubs baseball games announcer.
Ronald Reagan Fact 3: In 1937 while travelling in California with the Cubs he took the opportunity to have a screen test which would lead to a contract with Warner Brothers studios that lasted for seven years.
Ronald Reagan Fact 4: By 1939 he had appeared in nineteen films including his first screen credit in Love Is on the Air. He performed alongside other stars such as Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart and Errol Flynn.
Ronald Reagan Fact 5: Just as his career was taking off he was called for active duty during the Second World War although he would be classified for limited service due to his poor eyesight which would exclude him from service overseas.
Ronald Reagan Fact 6: In 1941 he was elected to the Board of Directors for Screen Actors Guild and would be on the Board during times such as the Hollywood Blacklist era, the Taft-Hartley Act and the House Committee on Un-American Activities hearings.
Ronald Reagan Fact 7: During 1938 Reagan met Jane Wyman when they were both cast for the same film, Brother Rat, and in 1940 they married. Together they had two children, Maureen and Christine and adopted a son, Michael. When Reagan had decided he was going to pursue and political career his wife filed for divorce which was finalized in 1949.
Ronald Reagan Fact 8: It was during this time in his capacity as President of the Screen Actors Guild that Nancy Davis contacted him as she had found herself mistaken for another Nancy Davis who had been blacklisted as a Communist in Hollywood.
Ronald Reagan Fact 9: By 1952 the pair had married and together they had two children also, Patti and Ron.
Ronald Reagan Fact 10: His first forays into politics would be as a Democrat in the late 1940’s and joined several political committees.
Ronald Reagan Fact 11: Although at this time he strongly supported Harry S. Truman but would begin to back and endorse both presidential candidates Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon.
Ronald Reagan Fact 12: In 1965 he announced his decision to run for the Governor of California although he would not gain the office until 1967.
Ronald Reagan Fact 13: During his initial few months in office he froze government hiring and in an attempt to balance the budget his approved tax increases. He also signed the Therapeutic Abortion Act although it would become a decision he would later regret. He signed the Mulford Act which repealed the law allowed loaded firearms to be carried by the general public and during 1969 he signed the Family Law Act.
Ronald Reagan Fact 14: He made his first bid to be nominated for president in 1976 but Gerald Ford, incumbent President at the time, was running for reelection however he too lost out to the Democratic candidate Jimmy Carter.
Ronald Reagan Fact 15: In 1980 Reagan decided to run against President Jimmy Carter and he chose George H. W. Bush as his running mate. This attempt would be successful and Reagan and Bush took office in January of 1981.
Ronald Reagan Fact 16: In the closes stages of Carter’s term as President American diplomatic personnel were taken hostage in Iran. They were held for four hundred and forty four days and during Ronald Reagan’s inaugural speech it was announced they had been set free.
Ronald Reagan Fact 17: Barely sixty nine days into his administration on March 30th 1981 an assignation attempt was made on Reagan’s life. While outside the Washington Hilton Hotel the President, his Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy, a Washington Police Officer, Thomas Delahanty and his press secretary, James Brady came under fire from a lone shooter, John Hinckley Jr. He was initially reported as close to death but made a full recovery.
Ronald Reagan Fact 18: As a result of the Soviet war in Afghanistan, Reagan was inclined to build-up the armed forces in the United States and reinstate programs previously cancelled by Carter’s administration.
Ronald Reagan Fact 19: While on a visit to Britain he was welcomed by Margaret Thatcher and gave an address in the Palace of Westminster where he said “the forward March of freedom and democracy will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash heap of history.”Ronald Reagan Fact 20: In 1984 Reagan decided to run for a second term and he was re-elected.
Ronald Reagan Fact 21: His second term was as successful as his first. He continued to build his relationship with Thatcher and the two countries, even gaining permission from Thatcher to allow the U.S. Air Force to use air bases in Britain if necessary.
Ronald Reagan Fact 22: While in office Reagan head several health scares. He began wearing hearing aids quite early on in his administration which when he admitted to this cause a rise in sales. He was after all the oldest even man to have become President of the United States at sixty nine years old. In 1985 he had surgery to remove cancerous polyps, he had several procedures over several years to remove cancer cells from his nose and also had surgery for an enlarged prostate.
Ronald Reagan Fact 23: Once his term was concluded he and Nancy returned to Los Angeles where they bought a home. It was in August of 1994 that he was diagnosed with Alzheimer and he made the announcement to the public.
Ronald Reagan Fact 24: Ronald Wilson Reagan died on June 5th 2004 in his home in California of pneumonia aged ninety three. His body laid to rest at the Ronald W. Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
Influence & Legacy: Although at the start of the Reagan administration it was seen with the increase in the armed forces that the Cold War was heating up, however with a change of leadership from Mikhail Gorbachev was far more receptive towards peace and in 1989, less than a year after Reagan left office but nevertheless because of the work he had done, the Berlin Wall was torn down. He would also be the first President to nominate a woman, Sandra Day O’Connor for the appointment of Supreme Court Justice and it would later transpire that Vaughn R. Walker another nominee put forward by Reagan was the first known gay federal judge to the United States District Court for the Central District of California.