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Early Life and Pre-presidency

Their marriage ended in divorce in Reagan was the first president to have been divorced. Commissioned a cavalry officer at the outbreak of World War II , Reagan was assigned to an army film unit based in Los Angeles , where he spent the rest of the war making training films.

Reagan had absorbed the liberal Democratic opinions of his father and became a great admirer of Franklin Roosevelt after his election in From to Reagan served as president of the union of movie actors, the Screen Actors Guild. He fought against communist infiltration in the guild, crossing picket lines to break the sometimes violent strikes. Such violence and chaos were abhorrent to Reagan, and, when police and students clashed in Berkeley in May , Reagan, as governor of California, called out the National Guard to restore order.

Much to the disgust of union members, he testified as a friendly witness before the House Un-American Activities Committee and cooperated in the blacklisting of actors, directors, and writers suspected of leftist sympathies. Although Reagan was still a Democrat at the time he campaigned for Harry Truman in the presidential election of , his political opinions were gradually growing more conservative.


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After initially supporting Democratic senatorial candidate Helen Douglas in , he switched his allegiance to Republican Richard Nixon midway through the campaign. He officially changed his party affiliation to Republican in Reagan met Nancy Davis Nancy Reagan , a relatively unknown actress, at a dinner party in , and the two were married in a simple ceremony in , at which actor William Holden was best man. The Reagans appeared together in the war movie Hell Cats of the Navy in After his acting career began to decline in the s, Reagan became the host of a television drama series, General Electric Theater , as well as spokesman for the General Electric Company.

In the latter capacity he toured GE plants around the country, delivering inspirational speeches with a generally conservative, pro-business message. Ronald Reagan. Article Media. Info Print Print. Table Of Contents. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback.

It was at this time that he found his political views changing away from a liberal democrat, and eventually, he changed to become a conservative Republican, speaking out publicly about excessive government regulation and wasteful spending. Reagan was first noted within the political sphere in when he made a televised speech for Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater.

Early political career

He began to get more and more involved in politics, eventually choosing to run for the governorship in California in In and again in , he campaigned for the presidential nominee for the Republican party but was unsuccessful. Despite these setbacks, he continued to work towards this goal, campaigning again in when he finally got the nod from the Republican party. When Ronald was elected President, Nancy became a full-time wife and homemaker, and whilst her reputation for snobbery was mitigated by her community work during their time in California, the accusation was to rear its head again when the family moved into the White House, and Nancy claimed that it too was outdated and in need of repairs.

The family began redecorating, but this was heavily criticised as the country was in a recession and so she was seen as spending frivolously, whilst the poor of America starved, despite the fact that she raised the money for the repairs, rather than taking it from a government pot. John Hinckley Junior, suffering from mental health issues, approached the President and shot a number of times in his direction.

Ronald Reagan

Quick thinking on the part of one of his secret service members, meant Reagan was placed into the presidential car and taken straight to the hospital. This would prove to be a crucial move, as the injury, which was initially thought to be minor, actually turned out to be a lot more serious.

The President walked into the hospital before he collapsed, and it was discovered that the bullet had pierced his lung and narrowly missed his heart. During his first term as president, Reagan worked on several important issues both at home and abroad, advancing a number of conservative policies, implementing tax cuts in an effort to stimulate the economy, and advocating increases in military spending.

In he announced the Strategic Defence Initiative which aimed to develop space technology which would protect America from attack by its enemies. A big failure during this time was to do with the US presence in Lebanon in the middle-east. In June , Reagan had sent American troops to Lebanon, hoping to stabilize a country ravaged by years of civil war.

President of the United States/Ronald Reagan - Wikiversity

Hezbollah, the militant Islamic group, claimed responsibility for the bombing. The ability of the US to remain detached and play the role of honest broker became more difficult.

Ronald Reagan’s Childhood and Education

Reagan was devastated by the events in Lebanon and as a result, he vowed never to send US troops back to the middle-east, a policy which he remained staunchly to throughout the rest of his presidency. In , Reagan was re-elected to continue as the President into a second term in a landslide victory, defeating Democratic challenger, Walter Mondale, carrying 49 out of 50 states and receiving out of electoral votes.

In July , Reagan had a malignant polyp removed from his colon. His second term in office was marred by the Iran-Contra affair which occurred between November and November The affair consisted of bringing to light a series of deals between the US and Iran to sell arms to the country, whilst funnelling the funds to the Nicaraguan Contras.

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A group was set up, known as the Tower Commission, to investigate the matter, and whilst they eventually concluded that there was no criminal wrongdoing in the deals, Congress stated that Reagan should take ultimate responsibility for the affair. In the same year, Reagan visited the Berlin Wall and challenged Gorbachev in a public speech, to tear down the wall.


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  • Just two years later, Gorbachev agreed to let the people of Berlin take the wall down. Reagan would visit after his presidency was over, just weeks before the country was reunified, and would take a symbolic swing at one of the remaining chunks of the wall. The former first lady established the Nancy Reagan Foundation which supported after-school drug prevention programmes, whilst Ronald worked on establishing his Ronald W.

    Inside Ronald Reagan’s Funeral

    Reagan Presidential Library which was opened in Ron had very different political views from his father and was a noted atheist from the age of He gave up an education at Yale University to dance with the Joffrey Ballet company. He has worked in later years as a journalist and radio presenter and was married to wife Doria Palmieri, a clinical psychologist from until her death in She was an actress for a number of years before moving into a career in writing, publishing several novels, as well as a number of memoirs and books about her family life.

    Maureen pursued an acting career in her young adulthood with moderate success, before attempting unsuccessfully to launch a political career.

    Early life and career

    She was married three times and adopted a daughter Rita who was born in Uganda in He has had a career as a salesperson and the couple have two children, Cameron and Ashley. Ronald W. Reagan died on 5 June at his home in California, aged 93 years old. She died in March of heart failure at the age of Contact About. Ronald Reagan 40th President,