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Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan
Personal data
Date of birthFebruary 6, 1911
Place of birthTampico, Illinois, U.S.
Date of deathJune 5, 2004(age 93)
Place of deathLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Political partyRepublican Party (1962 � 2004)
Other partyDemocratic Party (Before 1962)
SpouseJane Mayfield Wyman (1940-48)
Nancy Davis (1952 � 2004)
Alma materEureka College
ReligionDisciples of Christ (Formerly)
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Army
United States Army Air Forces
Years of service1937 � 45
40th President of the United States
In officeJanuary 20, 1981 - January 20, 1989
PresidentGeorge H. W. Bush
Vice PresidentGeorge H. W. Bush
Succeeded byGeorge H. W. Bush
Preceded byJimmy Carter
33rd Governor of California
In officeJanuary 2, 1967 - January 6, 1975
LieutenantRobert Finch
Edwin Reinecke
John Harmer
Succeeded byJerry Brown
Preceded byPat Brown

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Ronald Wilson Reagan (-enˈreɪɡən; February 6, 1911 � June 5, 2004) was the 40th President of the United States (1981 � 1989), the 33rd Governor of California (1967 � 1975) and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor.

Reagan was born in Tampico in Whiteside County, Illinois, reared in Dixon in Lee County, Illinois, and educated at Eureka College in Eureka, Illinois, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and sociology. Upon his graduation, Reagan first moved to Iowa to work as a radio broadcaster and then in 1937 to Los Angeles, California. He began a career as an actor, first in films and later television, appearing in over 50 movie productions and earning enough success to become a famous, publicly recognized figure. Some of his most notable roles are in Knute Rockne, All American, Kings Row, and Bedtime for Bonzo. Reagan served as president of the Screen Actors Guild, and later spokesman for General Electric; his start in politics occurred during his work for GE. Originally a member of the Democratic Party, he began to support Republican Party candidates in the early 1950s and eventually switched to the Republican Party in 1962. After delivering a rousing speech in support of Barry Goldwater's presidential candidacy in 1964, he was persuaded to seek the California governorship, winning two years later and again in 1970. He was defeated in his run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968 as well as 1976, but won both the nomination and election in 1980, defeating incumbent Jimmy Carter.

As president, Reagan implemented sweeping new political and economic initiatives. His supply-side economic policies, dubbed "Reaganomics", advocated reducing tax rates to spur economic growth, controlling the money supply to reduce inflation, deregulation of the economy, and reducing government spending. In his first term he survived an assassination attempt, took a hard line against labor unions, and ordered an invasion of Grenada. He was reelected in a landslide in 1984, proclaiming that it was "Morning in America". His second term was primarily marked by foreign matters, such as the ending of the Cold War, the 1986 bombing of Libya, and the revelation of the Iran-Contra affair. Publicly describing the Soviet Union as an "evil empire", he supported anti-communist movements worldwide and spent his first term forgoing the strategy of détente by ordering a massive military buildup in an arms race with the USSR. Reagan negotiated with General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev, culminating in the INF Treaty and the decrease of both countries' nuclear arsenals.

Reagan left office in 1989. In 1994, the former president disclosed that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease earlier in the year; he died ten years later at the age of 93. He ranks highly in public opinion polls of U.S. Presidents and is credited for generating an ideological renaissance on the American political right.

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