- NAME: Nancy Reagan
- OCCUPATION: Film Actress, U.S. First Lady
- BIRTH DATE: July 06, 1921 (Age: 92)
- EDUCATION: Sidwell Friends School, Smith College, Girls Latin School
- PLACE OF BIRTH: New York City, New York
- Full Name: Nancy David Reagan
- Originally: Anne Frances Robbins
- AKA: Nancy Reagan
- Maiden Name: Nancy Davis
- ZODIAC SIGN: Cancer
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Nancy Reagan is a former first lady of the United States, the widow of Ronald Reagan, who founded the "Just Say No" drug awareness campaign.
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A short biography of Nancy Reagan, who, after graduating from Smith College, moved to Hollywood to become an actress and met Ronald Reagan. As first lady, she launched the "Just Say No" drug awareness campaign in 1982.
President Ronald Reagan lead the United States during the end of the Cold War and left an unforgettable legacy. He’s considered by many conservatives to be the greatest American President.
Barbara Bush is the first woman since Abigail Adams to be wife to one U.S. President and mother to another. As First Lady, she led a long crusade against illiteracy.
Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States was a man who people loved or hated. His detractors saw him as a front man for wealthy interests, his advocates saw him as the leader who revitalized the American economy.
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Reagan was skeptical of marriage, having just experienced a painful divorce from actress Jane Wyman the previous year. After three years, Reagan finally proposed and Nancy accepted. The couple was married on March 4, 1952.
Nancy Reagan quickly assumed the role of full time wife and homemaker. On October 21, 1952, the couple's first child, Patricia, was born. Nancy managed to finish three films after being married, including Hellcats of the Navy,
appearing with her husband. After guest appearances on several television programs, Nancy left acting to concentrate on raising a family. By now, there were four Reagan children: In addition to Patricia, Ronald P. Reagan was born in 1958, and Reagan had two other children from his marriage to Jane Wyman, Maureen and Michael.
In 1967, following her husband's election for the California governorship, Nancy Reagan became the state's first lady. She was quickly criticized for expressing concerns about the Governor's Mansion, calling it a "fire trap," and moving her family to an exclusive suburb in Sacramento. Characterized as "snobbish" by the press and her husband's political opponents, she defended the move over concern about her family's safety. Her reputation improved in time, as she became involved in the Foster Grandparents Program. Later, the Los Angeles Times declared her "a model first lady" for her glamour, style and youthfulness.
After serving two terms as governor, Ronald Reagan began his quest for becoming president of the United States, in 1976. At first, Nancy was reluctant, but eventually relented and took on the traditional role of a candidate's wife, holding coffees, luncheons and talks with senior citizens. Reagan lost his bid to be the Republican nominee to Gerald Ford, but came back in 1980 and won the election.
The perception of snobbery that had dogged Nancy Reagan in California followed her to the White House in 1981, when she announced the executive mansion needed an upgrade and began redecorating. Criticized for frivolous spending on her new "home" during a time of economic recession, she faced an onslaught of negative press. Though private funds were raised to upgrade the White House and much of her official wardrobe was donated, she was accused of living lavishly and not caring about Americans who were suffering.
In 1982, Nancy Reagan reversed her negative image by championing drug abuse awareness and education. Traveling throughout the United States and several foreign countries, Nancy visited prevention programs and rehabilitation centers. In 1985, she hosted an international conference on youth drug abuse at the White House. Though her "Just Say No" campaign was criticized as simplistic, her efforts culminated in legislation, the "National Crusade for a Drug Free America Act," signed into law by President Reagan in October 1986. Continuing her efforts, Nancy Reagan addressed the United Nations General Assembly in 1988, speaking in support of strengthening international drug interdiction and trafficking laws.
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When the 19th Amendment was ratified, women were finally given the right to vote, and over the years many courageous women have stepped onto the national political stage as well. In 1916, Jeannette Rankin became the first woman elected to Congress and almost a century later Sonia Sotomayor became the first Latina woman to serve on the Supreme Court. And within the last two decades, the esteemable Hillary Clinton has served as First Lady, a New York senator and Secretary of State. These women, and many more, are setting the stage for the future of female leaders in Washington.
Visit Biography.com's Women's History group to explore more biographies, photos and videos of some the world's most fascinating women."
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