Ronald Wilson Reagan was born on February 6, 1911. He was an American politician who served as the 40th U.S. President from ’81 to ’89. Reagan’s position makes him relevant then, now, and for future generations to come. However, before he became ‘Mr. President,’ or ‘Mr. Governor,’ Reagan was in the entertainment business as a Hollywood actor. His charisma and outspoken and diplomatic nature made him a fantastic president, which is why we’re celebrating his special day right here!
Ronald Wilson Reagan
Dutch, Ronnie, Ronald the Right
February 6, 1911
June 5, 2004 (age 93)
Ronald Reagan will always be a recognized name within and outside America. Reagan might have had it all in the end, but he grew up in a low-income family. Born on February 6, 1911, in Tampico, Illinois, Reagan was the son of Nelle Clyde and Jack Reagan. His father was Irish, and his mother had English and Scottish heritage. Hence Reagan had Irish, English, and Scottish ancestry. He was called ‘Dutch’ throughout his youth — a name given to him by his father who thought he looked like a ‘fat little dutchman.’ Reagan was an Aquarius who grew up in a catholic, anti-racist household as his father openly opposed the Ku Klux Klan. He attended Dixon High School and Eureka College, where he majored in Economics and Sociology. In college, Reagan excelled in campus politics, sports, and theater. Because of his versatility, his nickname was ‘jack of all trades.’
In 1932 after his college graduation, Reagan worked in Radio. He had a seven-year contract with Warner Bros and appeared in his first movie, “Love is on the Air,” in 1937. His acting career began to take off, and by the end of 1939, Reagan had appeared in 19 films. His 1942 film appearance in “Kings Row” shot him to the limelight, and his salary tripled to $3,000 a week.
When Reagan began his Hollywood journey, he was a Democrat. However, in 1962, he became a Republican. By 1964, Reagan was the spokesman for the Goldwater campaign, but he didn’t stop there. 1965 started with Reagan’s campaign announcement for Governor of California, and by January 1967, he became sworn into office. While in office, Reagan signed the abortion bill on June 14, 1967, and the Mulford Act before his re-election in 1970. He signed the Family Law Act in his second term as Governor. However, he later called it ‘his greatest regret in office.’
In 1976, Reagan campaigned for President of the United States but lost the Primaries. He campaigned again in 1980 against the incumbent President, Jimmy Carter. Reagan selected George W. Bush, his opponent during the Primaries, as his running mate. His presidential mandate was to lower taxes, reduce government interference, stimulate economic growth and strengthen the national defense. Reagan was sworn into office on January 20, 1981, at almost 70 years. By March of the same year, he survived an assassination attempt. He was re-elected as POTUS in 1984 and sworn in by January 1985 at 73 years. During his Presidency, Reagan facilitated economic changes, signed and later vetoed the Civil Rights Restoration Act of I987, expanded the military, and directly contributed to the Cold War’s end. Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1994, a few years after he left office. The ailment slowly deteriorated his mental capacity, and on June 5, 2004, Reagan died of pneumonia at the age of 93. He was survived by his wife, Nancy Davis, whom he met in 1949 as a divorcee. His first marriage to Jane Wyman yielded three children before he married Davis in 1952. Reagan and Davis then had two children.
Reagan earns a starring role in “Love is on the Air.”
Reagan plays a double amputee in this film.
Reagan is elected as the SAG President in 1947 and then re-elected from 1947 to 1951 and then in 1959.
Reagan moves to right-wing politics in the '50s and then becomes a Republican in 1962.
Reagan defeats a two-term governor and is sworn in on January 2.
He begins his second term as Governor of California.
After a failed presidential campaign in 1976, Reagan tries again in 1980 and is sworn in by January 1981.
He is re-elected and sworn in. The ceremony takes place in the White House.
Why We Love Ronald Reagan
He reduced the unemployment rate
As POTUS, Reagan reduced the unemployment rate despite the recession. Once he finally left office, the unemployment rate decreased by 2.1%.
He survived an assassination attempt
Although he was wounded, Reagan lived to see another day. His tenacity is admirable.
He appointed the first female Supreme Court Associate Justice
Reagan proved that he had no problem with female leaders when he appointed Sandra O'Connor to the Supreme Court. One can even say he was a feminist.
5 Surprising Facts
He kept a diary as President
Reagan kept a diary and made daily entries into it as President.
He was the first President divorcee
Reagan went down as the first President of the United States to have gone through a divorce.
He was a Hollywood actor
Before his Governorship or Presidency, Reagan was a moderately famous movie star.
He loved jelly beans
Reagan especially loved jelly beans, and his favorite flavor was licorice.
He started as a Democrat
Reagan started his political career as a Democrat and even supported the New Deal efforts of President Roosevelt.
Ronald Reagan FAQs
How did the attempted assassination help Ronald Reagan?
Before Reagan’s attempted assassination, he had the lowest approval ratings of any president in his first term. After the shooting, his ratings increased, boosting his popularity and acceptance.
Who took the bullet for Ronald Reagan?
Reagan’s Secret Service Chief of Police, Tim McCarthy, took the bullet.
How old was Nancy Reagan when she was the First lady?
During Reagan’s first term in 1981, Nancy was 60 years old.
Ronald Reagan’s birthday dates