Ronald Reagan

Actor and Politician + 33rd Governor of California + 40th President of the United States

Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States. Prior to that, he was the 33rd Governor of California (1967–75), and a radio, film and television actor. Born in Tampico, Illinois, and raised in Dixon, Reagan was educated at Eureka College, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and sociology.… Read More

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1911 Birth Ronald Wilson Reagan was born in an apartment on the second floor of a commercial building in Tampico, Illinois on February 6, 1911, the son of Nelle Clyde (Wilson) and John Edward "Jack" Reagan. … Read More
1920 9 Years Old After the closure of the Pitney Store in late 1920, the Reagans moved to Dixon; the midwestern "small universe" had a lasting impression on Reagan. … Read More


1927 16 Years Old His first job was as a lifeguard at the Rock River in Lowell Park, near Dixon, in 1927. … Read More


1932 21 Years Old After graduating from Eureka in 1932, Reagan drove himself to Iowa, where he held jobs as an announcer at several stations. … Read More
While traveling with the Cubs in California, Reagan took a screen test in 1937 that led to a seven-year contract with Warner Brothers studios. … Read More
1940 29 Years Old 1 More Event
Before the film Santa Fe Trail with Errol Flynn in 1940, he played the role of George "The Gipper" Gipp in the film Knute Rockne, All American; from it, he acquired the lifelong nickname "the Gipper." … Read More


1941 30 Years Old Reagan was first elected to the Board of Directors of the Screen Actors Guild in 1941, serving as an alternate.
Reagan's favorite acting role was as a double amputee in 1942's Kings Row, in which he recites the line "Where's the rest of me?"—later used as the title of his 1965 autobiography. … Read More
1943 - 1944 4 More Events
He was recommended for promotion to major on February 2, 1945, but this recommendation was disapproved on July 17 of that year.
1946 35 Years Old After World War II, he resumed service and became 3rd vice-president in 1946.
1947 36 Years Old 1 More Event
The adoption of conflict-of-interest bylaws in 1947 led the SAG president and six board members to resign; Reagan was nominated in a special election for the position of president and subsequently elected.


1952 41 Years Old However, in the early 1950s, as his relationship with actress Nancy Davis grew, he shifted to the right and endorsed the presidential candidacies of Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952 and 1956 as well as Richard Nixon in 1960.
1954 43 Years Old He was hired by General Electric in 1954 to host the General Electric Theater, a weekly TV drama series. … Read More
1958 47 Years Old Reagan and Nancy Davis appeared together on television several times, including an episode of General Electric Theater in 1958 called "A Turkey for the President."


1961 - 1966 6 More Events
…  Prior to his presidency, he was the 33rd Governor of California from 1967 to 1975, following a career as a Hollywood actor and union leader.
He twice ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for the U.S. presidency in 1968 and 1976; four years later, he easily won the nomination outright, going on to be elected the oldest President, defeating incumbent Jimmy Carter in 1980.
1969 58 Years Old 1 More Event
Reagan was involved in high-profile conflicts with the protest movements of the era. On May 15, 1969, during the People's Park protests at UC Berkeley, Reagan sent the California Highway Patrol and other officers to quell the protests, in an incident that became known as "Bloody Thursday," resulting in the death of student James Rector and the blinding of carpenter Alan Blanchard. … Read More


1972 - 1980 5 More Events
Entering the presidency in 1981, Reagan implemented sweeping new political and economic initiatives. … Read More
1982 71 Years Old 1 More Event
Together with the United Kingdom's prime minister Margaret Thatcher, Reagan denounced the Soviet Union in ideological terms. In a famous address on June 8, 1982, to the Parliament of the United Kingdom in the Royal Gallery of the Palace of Westminster, Reagan said, "the forward march of freedom and democracy will leave Marxism–Leninism on the ash heap of history."
It has been alleged that he was overheard telling Israeli foreign minister Yitzhak Shamir in 1983 that he had filmed that footage himself and helped liberate Auschwitz, though this purported conversation was disputed by Secretary of State George P. Shultz.
Reagan accepted the Republican nomination in Dallas, Texas. He proclaimed that it was "morning again in America," regarding the recovering economy and the dominating performance by the U.S. athletes at the 1984 Summer Olympics, among other things. … Read More
1985 74 Years Old 1 More Event
Reagan was sworn in as president for the second time on January 20, 1985, in a private ceremony at the White House. … Read More
The Tax Reform Act of 1986, another bipartisan effort championed by Reagan, simplified the tax code by reducing the number of tax brackets to four and slashing a number of tax breaks. … Read More
1987 - 1988 3 More Events
Leaving office in 1989, Reagan held an approval rating of sixty-eight percent, matching those of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and later Bill Clinton, as the highest ratings for departing presidents in the modern era.
1991 - 2000 12 More Events
President Reagan's Covert Action program has been given credit for assisting in ending the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, though some of the United States funded armaments introduced then would later pose a threat to U.S. troops in the 2001 War in Afghanistan. … Read More
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