Life and Career of Ronald Reagan

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Table of Contents

  • Staring Life
  • Acting Career and Love Life
  • Getting into Politics
  • Overall Presidency
  • Reaganomics
  • After Being President
  • Bibliography

Do you love the 80s? Spunky hair, neon clothes, leg warmers, and Coca-Cola? Well, Ronald Reagan was President of the United States for most of the 1980s; 1981-89 to be exact. He did many things in the office during his presidency and outside being president. Some things that he did was developed a new strategy for the economy (also known as Reaganomics), he was a movie star for most of his career life and so many more!

Staring Life

For starters, Ronald Wilson Reagan was born February 6, 1911, in Tampico, Illinois by Nelle and Jack Reagan. He also had one older brother, Neil Reagan. When Reagan was a baby his father gave him the nickname Dutch because he resembled "a fat little Dutchman." Also, his father was a shoe salesman because of that his family and he had to move around a lot for new sales jobs before settling down in Dixon, Illinois. Reagan went to Dixon High School where he was athlete and student council president. During summers, he was a lifeguard and saved up to 77 people from drowning. Once high school was over he decided to go to Eureka College and continued to be a very active student. He did many extracurricular activities such as being captain of the swim team, playing football, running track, was student council president and acted in school performances. After, graduating college he found a job in Iowa being a sports announcer.

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Acting Career and Love Life

The beginning his acting career Ronald went to a screen test for Warner Brothers Studio and had him signed to the studio. That same year he was in his first movie called "Love is on the Air." He would go on to in more than 50 other movies such as, "Bedtime for Bonzo," "Cattle Queen of Montana," and "Dark Victory." Ronald Reagan's most notable roles were George Gripp (a Notre Dame football player) in "Knute Rockne All American" and an accident victim that gets all his limbs amputated in "Kings Row."

During this time he got married to an actress named Jane Wyman from 1940-48 and had two children, Maureen and Michael. Then got remarried to another actress named, Nancy Davis in 1952 and then had another two children, Patricia and Ronald. Nancy and he were married until he died.

Towards the end of his acting career he hosted in a TV series called "The General Electric Theater" and in this show, he gives business advice, gave a tour of The White House, and talked about the government's economy. This show was a spark for him to get into politics.

Getting into Politics

When Reagan was younger he was a part of the Democratic Party but, as he grew old he became more conservative along with his age and by the early 1960s, he joined the Republican Party. His first televised political speech was for Barry Goldwater, a Republican presidential candidate. Many people liked his views that he decided to run for governor in California in, 1966 and won against the Democrat, Edmund Brown Sr. by about one million votes. After, being governor for two terms he wanted to be president. He ran for president in 1968 and 1976 but did not get elected.

Overall Presidency

In 1980, Ronald Reagan was elected to be president and was inaugurated president on January 20, 1981. On March 30, 1981, John Hinckley Jr. attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan but, lucky Reagan survived the attempt and had a quick recovery.

Some major things that he did during his 1st term, he nominated the first woman to the Supreme Court. Another thing is that he did was that he grew the military with troops and weapons because of the Cold War and created a plan to design space-based weapons to protect Americans from the Soviet Union. Reagan sent out about 800 Marines to Lebanon to keep peace in Israel, then suicide bombers attacked the Marines and killed 241 US citizens. Another thing is that Reagan invaded Grenada because rebels take over the Grenadan government.

Reagan got reelected for a second term along with his vice president George H. W. Bush. Reagan created a relationship with Mikhail Gorbachev, who was the leader of the Soviet Union at the time. With that relationship, he was able to eliminate intermediate-range nuclear missiles. Reagan also spoke about the Berlin Wall and said that it was the symbol of communism.


Reagan cared for the economy with a great deal before, Reagan was in office the economy was very unstable and he wanted to make it be strong and reliable. Reagan came up with this plan where he would first cut taxes down, slow down spending growth for the government, reduce regulations for companies, and then tame inflation. This plan would be called Reaganomics by the press and news outlets. He cut taxes because he wanted companies to have more money to grow, buy investments and make new jobs. His spending growth was 2.5% per year compared to 4% annual government spending increase. He did this because he didn't more money he just needed to re-organize where the money went. The reason Reagan reduced regulations is that he realized supply and demand was an essential part of growing the economy and those regulations were in the way of that. He did not, however, reduce regulations on health, safety, and environment. Taming inflation was also along with reducing regulations because he wanted to save money. Inflation is the increase in prices of goods and it overwhelms the economy making your money cost less.

After Being President

After he left the office he moved back to Los Angles, California. Reagan has a library/museum named the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in his honor in California. Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in November of 1994. Ronald Reagan died on June 5, 2004, at age of 93. Reagan one of the longest-lived president. He was buried at his presidential library but, had his funeral in D.C. Ronald Reagan had a very full life, he did many good things during a presidency and is considered of one the greatest presidents.


  1. Editors, "Ronald Reagan." HISTORY, A&E Television Networks, 9 Nov. 2009,
  2. Writers, "Ronald Reagan." The White House, The United States Government,
  3. Writers, "Ronald Reagan - Key Events." Miller Center, The University of Virginia, 8 Sept. 2017,
  4. Amadeo, Kimberly. "Would Reaganomics Work Today?" The Balance Small Business, The Balance,
  5. Educational Videos for Students (Cartoons on Bullying, Leadership & More). YouTube, 9 Oct. 2015,

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