137 Facts About Ronald Reagan


Ronald Wilson Reagan was an American politician and actor who served as the 40th president of the United States from 1981 to 1989.


Ronald Reagan previously served as the 33rd governor of California from 1967 to 1975 and as president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1947 to 1952 and from 1959 until 1960.


In 1937, Ronald Reagan moved to California, where he became a film actor.


From 1947 to 1952, Ronald Reagan served as the president of the Screen Actors Guild.


Ronald Reagan escalated an arms race and transitioned Cold War policy away from detente with the Soviet Union.


Ronald Reagan survived an assassination attempt, fought public sector labor unions, expanded the war on drugs, and ordered the invasion of Grenada in 1983.


Ronald Reagan left the presidency in 1989 with the American economy having seen a significant reduction of inflation, the unemployment rate having fallen, and the United States having entered its then-longest peacetime expansion.


Ronald Reagan's presidency constituted the Reagan era, and he is considered a prominent conservative figure in the United States.


Ronald Wilson Reagan was born on February 6,1911, in a commercial building in Tampico, Illinois, as the younger son of Nelle Clyde Wilson and Jack Reagan.


Ronald Reagan led prayer meetings and ran mid-week prayers at her church when the pastor was out of town.


Ronald Reagan credited her spiritual influence and he became a Christian.


Ronald Reagan attended Dixon High School, where he developed interests in drama and football.


In 1928, Ronald Reagan began attending Eureka College at Nelle's approval on religious grounds.


Ronald Reagan was a mediocre student that participated in sports, drama, and campus politics.


Ronald Reagan became student body president and joined a student strike that resulted in the college president's resignation.


Ronald Reagan recalled a time when two black football teammates were refused service at a segregated hotel; he invited them to his parents' home nearby in Dixon and his parents welcomed them.


Ronald Reagan himself had grown up with very few black Americans there and was unaware of a race problem.


Ronald Reagan then worked for WHO radio in Des Moines as a broadcaster for the Chicago Cubs.


Ronald Reagan's specialty was creating play-by-play accounts of games using only basic descriptions that the station received by wire as the games were in progress.


In 1936, while traveling with the Cubs to their spring training in California, Ronald Reagan took a screen test that led to a seven-year contract with Warner Bros.


Ronald Reagan arrived at Hollywood in 1937, debuting in Love Is on the Air.


Ronald Reagan broke out of these types of films by portraying George Gipp in Knute Rockne, All American, which would be rejuvenated when reporters called Reagan "the Gipper" while he campaigned for president of the United States.


Ronald Reagan became a star, with Gallup polls placing him "in the top 100 stars" from 1941 to 1942.


Ronald Reagan, who had a limited acting range, was dissatisfied with the roles he received.


Ronald Reagan was assigned as a private in Des Moines' 322nd Cavalry Regiment and reassigned to second lieutenant in the Officers Reserve Corps.


Ronald Reagan later became a part of the 323rd Cavalry Regiment in California.


However, to avoid accusations of Ronald Reagan being a draft dodger, the studio let him go in April 1942.


Ronald Reagan became an AAF public relations officer and was assigned to the 18th AAF Base Unit in Culver City where he felt that it was "impossible to remove an incompetent or lazy worker" due to what he felt was "the incompetence, the delays, and inefficiencies" of the federal bureaucracy.


Ronald Reagan was ordered to temporary duty in New York City to participate in the sixth War Loan Drive before being reassigned to Fort MacArthur until his discharge on December 9,1945, as a captain.


When Robert Montgomery resigned as president of the Screen Actors Guild on March 10,1947, Ronald Reagan was elected to that position, in a special election.


Ronald Reagan would remain SAG president until he resigned on November 10,1952; Walter Pidgeon succeeded him, but Ronald Reagan stayed on the board.


Ronald Reagan resigned from the SAG presidency on June 7,1960, and left the board; George Chandler succeeded him as SAG president.


Ronald Reagan married Brother Rat co-star Jane Wyman in January 1940.


Ronald Reagan was uninterested in politics, and occasionally recriminated, reconciled and separated with him.


Later that year, Ronald Reagan met Nancy Davis after she contacted him in his capacity as the SAG president about her name appearing on a communist blacklist in Hollywood; she had been mistaken for another Nancy Davis.


Ronald Reagan became the host of MCA Inc television production General Electric Theater at Wasserman's recommendation.


In 1965, Ronald Reagan became the host of another MCA production, Death Valley Days.


In 1945, Ronald Reagan planned to lead an HICCASP anti-nuclear rally, but Warner Bros.


When Ronald Reagan was contracted by General Electric, he gave speeches to their employees.


Ronald Reagan's speeches had a positive take on free markets.


In 1961, Ronald Reagan adapted his speeches into another speech to criticize Medicare.


In 1962, Ronald Reagan was dropped by GE, and he formally registered as a Republican.


In 1964, Ronald Reagan gave a speech for presidential contender Barry Goldwater that was eventually referred to as "A Time for Choosing".


In January 1966, Ronald Reagan announced his candidacy for the California governorship, repeating his stances on individual freedom and big government.


Certain in his own lack of prejudice, Ronald Reagan responded resentfully that bigotry was not in his nature and later argued that certain provisions of the act infringed upon the rights of property owners.


Ronald Reagan portrayed himself as a political outsider, and charged Brown as responsible for the Watts riots and lenient on crime.


In numerous speeches, Ronald Reagan "hit the Brown administration about high taxes, uncontrolled spending, the radicals at the University of California, Berkeley, and the need for accountability in government".


Ultimately, Ronald Reagan won the governorship with 57 percent of the vote compared to Brown's 42 percent.


Consequently, it generated a larger deficit, and Ronald Reagan would call for reduced government spending and tax hikes to balance the budget.


Ronald Reagan worked with Jesse M Unruh on securing tax increases and promising future property tax cuts.


Ronald Reagan countered that he was still committed to reducing property taxes.


In 1967, Ronald Reagan reacted to the Black Panther Party's strategy of copwatching by signing the Mulford Act to prohibit the public carrying of firearms.


Ronald Reagan later expressed regret over signing it, saying that he was unaware of the mental health provision.


Ronald Reagan believed that doctors were interpreting the provision loosely and more abortions were resulting.


Ronald Reagan ran as an unofficial candidate to cut into Nixon's southern support and be a compromise candidate if there were to be a brokered convention.


Ronald Reagan won California's delegates, but Nixon secured enough delegates for the nomination.


Ronald Reagan, who had been critical of administrators tolerating student demonstrations in the city of Berkeley, sent the California Highway Patrol and other officers to quell the People's Park protests in May 1969.


Ronald Reagan then commanded the state National Guard troops to occupy Berkeley for seventeen days to subdue the protesters, allowing other students to attend class safely.


Ronald Reagan was concerned that the programs were disincentivizing work and that the growing welfare rolls would lead to both an unbalanced budget and another big tax hike in 1972.


Ronald Reagan worked with Bob Moretti to tighten up the eligibility requirements so that the financially needy could continue receiving payments.


Ronald Reagan did not run for the governorship in 1974 and it was won by Pat Brown's son, Jerry.


Ronald Reagan was strongly critical of detente and Ford's policy of detente with the Soviet Union.


Ronald Reagan repeated "A Time for Choosing" around the country before announcing his campaign on November 20,1975, when he discussed economic and social problems, and to a lesser extent, foreign affairs.


In Florida, Ronald Reagan referred to a "strapping young buck", which became an example of dog whistle politics, and accused Ford for handing the Panama Canal to Panama's government while Ford implied that he would end Social Security.


Ronald Reagan won an upset victory, convincing party delegates that Ford's nomination was no longer guaranteed.


Ronald Reagan won subsequent victories in Texas, Alabama, Georgia, and Indiana with his attacks on social programs, opposition to forced busing, increased support from inclined voters of a declining George Wallace presidential campaign, and repeated criticisms of Ford and Kissinger's policies, including detente.


Ronald Reagan took John Sears' advice of choosing liberal Richard Schweiker as his running mate, hoping to pry loose of delegates from Pennsylvania and other states, and distract Ford.


Ronald Reagan emerged as a vocal critic of President Carter in 1977.


Ronald Reagan's announcement stressed his fundamental principles of tax cuts to stimulate the economy and having both a small government and a strong national defense, since he believed the United States was behind the Soviet Union militarily.


Ronald Reagan's supporters have said that this was his typical anti-big government rhetoric, without racial context or intent.


Ronald Reagan replied, "There you go again", though the audience laughed and viewers found him more appealing.


Ronald Reagan later asked the audience if they were better off than they were four years ago, slightly paraphrasing Roosevelt's words in 1934.


On November 4,1980, Ronald Reagan won in a decisive victory in the Electoral College over Carter, carrying 44 states and receiving 489 electoral votes to Carter's 49 in six states and the District of Columbia.


Ronald Reagan won the popular vote by a narrower margin, receiving nearly 51 percent to Carter's 41 percent and Anderson's 7 percent.


The 40th president of the United States, Ronald Reagan was sworn into office for his first term on January 20,1981.


Ronald Reagan lifted federal oil and gasoline price controls on January 28,1981, and in August, he signed the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 to dramatically lower federal income tax rates and require exemptions and brackets to be indexed for inflation starting in 1985.


Amid growing concerns about the mounting federal debt, Ronald Reagan signed the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982, one of the eleven times Ronald Reagan raised taxes.


Many of his supporters condemned the bill, but Ronald Reagan defended his preservation of cuts on individual income tax rates.


Ronald Reagan's policies proposed that economic growth would occur when the tax cuts spur investments, which would result in more spending, consumption, and ergo tax revenue.


In 1983, the recession ended and Ronald Reagan nominated Volcker to a second term in fear of damaging confidence in the economic recovery.


In 1981, in an effort to keep it solvent, Ronald Reagan approved a plan for cuts to Social Security.


Ronald Reagan later backed off of these plans due to public backlash.


Ronald Reagan then created the Greenspan Commission to keep Social Security financially secure and in 1983, he signed amendments to raise both the program's payroll taxes and retirement age for benefits.


Ronald Reagan had signed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981 to cut funding for federal assistance such as food stamps, unemployment benefits, subsidized housing and the Aid to Families with Dependent Children, and would discontinue the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act.


Ronald Reagan sought to loosen federal regulation of economic activities, and he appointed key officials who shared this agenda.


William Leuchtenburg writes that by 1986, the Ronald Reagan administration eliminated almost half of the federal regulations that had existed in 1981.


Ronald Reagan described the tripled debt the "greatest disappointment of his presidency".


On March 30,1981, Ronald Reagan was shot by John Hinckley Jr.


Later, Ronald Reagan came to believe that God had spared his life "for a chosen mission".


Ronald Reagan appointed three associate justices to the Supreme Court of the United States: Sandra Day O'Connor in July 1981, Antonin Scalia in 1986, and Anthony Kennedy in 1988.


Ronald Reagan appointed William Rehnquist as the chief justice in 1986.


Ronald Reagan used military controllers and supervisors to handle the nation's commercial air traffic until new controllers could be hired and trained.


Ronald Reagan initially opposed the establishment of Martin Luther King Jr.


In March 1988, Ronald Reagan vetoed the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, but Congress overrode his veto.


Ronald Reagan had argued that the bill unreasonably increased the federal government's power and undermined the rights of churches and business owners.


Early in his presidency, Reagan appointed Clarence M Pendleton Jr.


In 1987, Ronald Reagan unsuccessfully nominated Robert Bork to the Supreme Court as a way to achieve his civil rights policy that could not be fulfilled during his presidency; his administration had opposed affirmative action, particularly in education, federal assistance programs, housing and employment, but Ronald Reagan reluctantly continued these policies.


In housing, Ronald Reagan's administration saw considerably fewer fair housing cases filed than the three previous administrations.


Ronald Reagan's administration publicized the campaign to gain support after crack became widespread in 1985.


Ronald Reagan signed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 and 1988 to specify penalties for drug offenses.


Additionally, Nancy Ronald Reagan founded the "Just Say No" campaign to discourage others from engaging in recreational drug use and raise awareness about the dangers of drugs.


Ronald Reagan ordered a massive defense buildup; he revived the B-1 Lancer program that had been rejected by the Carter administration, and deployed the MX missile.


In 1982, Ronald Reagan tried to cut off the Soviet Union's access to hard currency by impeding its proposed gas line to Western Europe.


In March 1983, Ronald Reagan introduced the Strategic Defense Initiative to protect the United States from space intercontinental ballistic missiles.


Ronald Reagan believed that this defense shield could protect the country from nuclear destruction in a hypothetical nuclear war with the Soviet Union.


Several days later, Ronald Reagan ordered American forces to invade Grenada.


Ronald Reagan cited a regional threat posed by a Soviet-Cuban military build-up in the Caribbean nation and concern for the safety of hundreds of American medical students at St George's University as adequate reasons to invade.


However, Ronald Reagan's age induced his campaign managers to minimize his public appearances.


Still, between September 18,1985 and February 4,1986, Ronald Reagan did not mention AIDS in public.


In 1986, Reagan asked C Everett Koop to draw up a report on the AIDS issue.


Ronald Reagan called for increased testing and mandatory testing of select groups.


The Ronald Reagan administration proposed $2.8 billion during this time period, but pressure from congressional Democrats resulted in the larger amount.


President Ronald Reagan was opposed to divestiture because, as he wrote in a letter to Sammy Davis Jr.


Ronald Reagan noted the fact that the "American-owned industries there employ more than 80,000 blacks" and that their employment practices were "very different from the normal South African customs".


The anti-communist focus of Ronald Reagan's administration lent itself to closer ties with the apartheid regime of South Africa, particularly with regards to matters pertaining to nuclear weapons.


The Ronald Reagan administration developed constructive engagement with the South African government as a means of encouraging it to move away from apartheid gradually.


In 1986, Congress approved the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act, which included tougher sanctions; Ronald Reagan's veto was overridden by Congress.


Contentious relations between Libya and the United States under President Ronald Reagan were revived in the West Berlin discotheque bombing that killed an American soldier and injured dozens of others on April 5,1986.


Still, the Ronald Reagan administration raised funds for the Contras from private donors and foreign governments.


The Ronald Reagan administration sold over 2,000 missiles to Iran without informing Congress; Hezbollah released four hostages but captured an additional six Americans.


Investigators did not find conclusive proof that Ronald Reagan had known about the aid provided to the Contras, but the report noted that Ronald Reagan had "created the conditions which made possible the crimes committed by others" and had "knowingly participated or acquiesced in covering up the scandal".


Ronald Reagan appreciated Gorbachev's revolutionary change in the direction of the Soviet policy and shifted to diplomacy, intending to encourage him to pursue substantial arms agreements.


Ronald Reagan believed that if he could persuade the Soviets to allow for more democracy and free speech, this would lead to reform and the end of communism.


Ronald Reagan refused, stating that it was defensive only and that he would share the secrets with the Soviets, thus failing to reach a deal.


In June 1987, Ronald Reagan addressed Gorbachev during a speech at the Berlin Wall, demanding that he "tear down this wall".


Ronald Reagan received multiple awards and honors, and received generous payments for speaking engagements.


Ronald Reagan addressed the 1992 Republican National Convention "to inspire allegiance to the party regulars"; publicly favored the Brady Bill, drawing criticism from gun control opponents; a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget; and the repeal of the 22nd Amendment.


Ronald Reagan died of pneumonia, complicated by Alzheimer's, at his home in Los Angeles, on June 5,2004.


Many conservative and liberal scholars have agreed that Ronald Reagan has been the most influential president since Roosevelt, leaving his imprint on American politics, diplomacy, culture, and economics through his effective communication of his conservative agenda and pragmatic compromising.


Krugman views Ronald Reagan as having initiated the ideology of the current-day Republican Party, which he feels is led by "radicals" who seek to "undo the twentieth century" gains in income equality and unionization.


Ronald Reagan was known for storytelling and humor, which involved puns and self-deprecation.


Ronald Reagan had the ability to offer comfort to Americans during the aftermath of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.


Ronald Reagan earned the nickname "Teflon President" in that public perceptions of him were not substantially tarnished by the multitude of controversies that arose during his administration.


Ronald Reagan led a new conservative movement, altering the political dynamic of the United States.


Ronald Reagan often emphasized family values, despite being the first president to have been divorced.


Ronald Reagan was supported by young voters, an allegiance that shifted many of them to the party.


Ronald Reagan attempted to appeal to black voters in 1980, but would receive the lowest black vote for a Republican presidential candidate at the time.