Ronald Reagan (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was the 40th President of the United States (1981–1989) and the 33rd Governor of California (1967–1975).
Born in Tampico, Illinois, Ronald moved to Los Angeles, California in the 1930s. He began a career in filmmaking and later television, making 52 films and gaining enough success to make him a household name. Though largely a B film actor, he starred in both Knute Rockne, All American and Kings Row. Ronald served as president of the Screen Actors Guild, and later spokesman for General Electric (GE); his start in politics occurred during his work for GE. Originally a member of the Democratic Party, he 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.
Ronald Reagan was defeated in his run for the Republican presidential
nomination in 1968 as well as 1976, but won both the nomination and election in
As president, Ronald implemented new political and economic initiatives. His supply-side economic policies, dubbed "Reaganomics," advocated reduced business regulation, controlling inflation, reducing growth in government spending, and spurring economic growth through tax cuts. In his first term he survived an assassination attempt, took a hard line against organized labor, and ordered military actions in Grenada. He was reelected in a landslide in 1984, proclaiming it was "Morning in America."
Ronald Reagan's second term was primarily marked by foreign matters, namely the ending of the Cold War, the 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. Ronald negotiated with Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, culminating in the INF Treaty and the decrease of both countries' nuclear arsenals.
Ronald 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.
Ronald Reagan ranks highly among former U.S. presidents in terms of approval
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