- NAME: Ronald Reagan
- OCCUPATION: Film Actor, Television Actor, U.S. President, U.S. Governor
- BIRTH DATE: February 06, 1911
- DEATH DATE: June 05, 2004
- EDUCATION: Dixon High School, Eureka College
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Tampico, Illinois
- PLACE OF DEATH: Los Angeles, California
- Nickname: The Gipper
- Nickname: The Great Communicator
- Full Name: Ronald Wilson Reagan
- AKA: Ronald Reagan
- Nickname: Dutch
Best Known For
President Ronald Reagan helped redefine the purpose of government and pressured the Soviet Union to end the Cold War. He solidified the conservative agenda for decades after his presidency.
Ronald Reagan - Re-election (2:55)
Ronald Reagan - Childhood (4:26)
Ronald Reagan - Full Biography (45:55)
During his re-election campaign Ronald Reagan faced the ever present issue of his age and the fact that he was the oldest U.S. President ever to be elected.
Learn about the childhood of the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan.
An inside look at the 1980 Presidential debate between then President Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.
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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In the Middle East, Reagan sent 800 U.S. Marines to Lebanon as part of an international peacekeeping force, in June 1982. Nearly one year later, in October 1983, suicide bombers attacked the Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 241 Americans. That same month, Reagan ordered U.S. forces to invade the Caribbean island of Granada after Marxist rebels overthrew the government. In addition to the problems in Lebanon and Grenada,
the Reagan administration had to deal with an ongoing contentious relationship between the United States and Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi.
During his second term, Reagan forged a diplomatic relationship with the reform-minded Mikhail Gorbachev, chairman of the Soviet Union. In 1987, the Americans and Soviets signed a historic agreement to eliminate intermediate-range nuclear missiles. That same year, Reagan spoke at Germany's Berlin Wall, a symbol of communism, and famously challenged Gorbachev to tear it down. Twenty-nine months later, Gorbachev allowed the people of Berlin to dismantle the wall, ending Soviet domination of East Germany. After leaving the White House, Reagan returned to Germany in September 1990—just weeks before Germany was officially reunified—and, with a hammer, took several symbolic swings at a remaining chunk of the wall.
In November 1984, Ronald Reagan was re-elected in a landslide, defeating Democratic challenger Walter Mondale. Reagan carried 49 of the 50 U.S. states in the election, and received 525 of 538 electoral votes—the largest number ever won by an American presidential candidate. His second term was tarnished by the Iran-Contra affair, a convoluted "arms-for-hostages" deal with Iran to funnel money toward anti-communist insurgencies in Central America. Though he initially denied knowing about it, Reagan later announced that it was a mistake.
After leaving the White House in January 1989, Reagan and wife Nancy returned to their home in Los Angeles, California. In 1991, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum opened in Simi Valley, California.
In November 1994, Reagan revealed in a handwritten letter to the American people that he had recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Nearly a decade later, on June 5, 2004, he died at his Los Angeles home at age 93, making him the nation's longest-lived president at that time. (In 2006, Gerald Ford surpassed him for this title.) A state funeral was held in Washington, D.C., and Reagan was later buried on the grounds of his presidential library in California.
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