Ronald Reagan

President Ronald Reagan

Ronald Wilson Reagan was the actor-turned-politician who became the 40th president of the great USA (from 1981 to 1989).  He started out as a radio sports announcer in Illinois in the early 1930s.  By 1937, he had moved to Hollywood to pursue an acting career.  Like many actors, he was a liberal democrat.  In 1962, he switched to the Republican party, and was elected the governor of California in 1966.  He ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination in both 1968 and 1976, finally nailing the nomination and beating Jimmy Carter in 1980 to become president.  As soon as Reagan took office, he began implementing a number of far reaching political and economic initiatives (Reaganomics).  His policies were successful and history has looked very kindly on his tenure as president.  There was an assassination attempt on his life in March of 1981, just 69 days after he took office.  He then became the first U.S. President to survive being shot in an assassination attempt.  What did eventually kill him was Alzheimer's (2004), a disease that had haunted him for over 10 years.

Famous quotes:  "Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"  "Today we did what we had to do. They counted on America to be passive. They counted wrong."  Notable events included the escalation of the Cold War with Russia, Operation Urgent Fury (invasion of Grenada), the Beirut barracks bombing, the 1986 bombing of Libya, the Iran-Contra affair, and ultimately the end of the Cold War.  Reagan left office with one of the highest approval ratings for a president of the USA.