1911 - 2004
On February 6, 1911, Ronald Wilson Reagan was born to Nelle and John Reagan in Tampico, Illinois. He attended high school in nearby Dixon and then worked his way through Eureka College. There, he studied economics and sociology, played on the football team, and acted in school plays. Upon graduation, he became a radio sports announcer. A screen tis in 1937 won him a contract in Hollywood. During the next two decades, he appeared in 53 films.
As president of the Screen Actors Guild, Reagan became embroiled in disputes over the issue of Communism in the film industry; his political views shifted from liberal to conservative. He toured the country as a television host, becoming a spokesman for conservatism. In 1966 he was elected Governor of California by a margin of a million votes; he was re-elected in 1970. Ronald Reagan won the Republican Presidential nomination in 1980 and chose as his running mate former Texas Congressman and United Nations Ambassador George Bush. Voters troubled by inflation and by the year-long confinement of Americans in Iran swept the Republican ticket into office. Reagan won 489 electoral votes to 49 for President Jimmy Carter.
Dealing skillfully with Congress, Reagan obtained legislation to stimulate economic growth, curb inflation, increase employment and strengthen national defense. He embarked
upon a course of cutting taxes and Government expenditures, refusing to deviate from it when the strengthening of defense forces led to a large deficit. A renewal of national self-confidence by 1984 helped Reagan and Bush win a second term with an unprecedented number of electoral votes. Their victory turned away democratic challengers Walter F. Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro. In 1986, Reagan obtained an overhaul of the income tax code, which eliminated many deductions and exempted millions of people with low incomes. At the ent of his administration, the Nation was enjoying its second longest recorded period of peacetime prosperity without recession or depression.
In 1994 Reagan announced that he suffered from Alzheimer's Disease. He spent the next ten years in seclusion and increasingly poor health until his death in 2004.
Famous Ronald Reagan Quotations:
"The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much."
"If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under."
"The most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I am from the government and I am here to help.'"
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face."
"Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem."