Ronald Regan died on June 5, 2004, after a distinguished life that led him through Hollywood, onto the White House, a battle with communism and finally one with Alzheimer’s disease, which defeated him. He was aged 93.
He was a popular President in the US who befriended Britain’s Margaret Thatcher and had a stint as Governor of California – a US state with a GDP similar to the UK.
Ronald was born in 1911 and bought up in Illinois. He had a difficult time being bought up with a father who was an alcoholic, but managed to make his way successfully through his education. He was always an active man who spent time in a real life ‘Bay Watch’ scenario as lifeguard over 6 years and apparently saving 77 peoples lives.
Regan was an all-rounder in sport, playing American football and swimming competitively. Ron left college in 1932 with a degree in sociology and economics before becoming a radio presenter for sport. During his time at Eureka College, Regan also honed his skills as an actor.
Ron had a twenty-year stint in Hollywood and appeared in over fifty films, although he never became an A-List actor. His most notable role was in Kings Row.
Marriage and politics
Reagan wasn’t enlisted during WWII due to poor eyesight but was serving on active duty in 1942 when he made training for the services. His political interests started in the democrat camp before moving to the right as he grew into the field. Ron married first in 1940 and went on to have two children before divorcing in 1949. He then discovered Nancy in Hollywood and wedded her in 1952.
In 1966 he became California’s Governor and following being re-elected served until 1975. Reagan then decided to run for president and at the first attempt failed, but in 1980 was voted in with George Bush as his running mate. At 69 he was the oldest president the US had appointed and he went on to win a second term in 1984.
He was most famed for his achievements in ending the Cold War. Whilst on a trip to Germany he challenged the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to demolish the Berlin Wall and in 1991 that very thing happened. His military prowess was questionable as he set about a ‘Star Wars’ program that was intended to allow the US to shoot down the missiles of their foes from space.
Above all, he was a great communicator who had a highly personable side to his character, which really helped him to achieve what he did. He danced with Britain Margaret Thatcher at state events and can now be heard through tapes released via the 30 year secret rules that truly demonstrated their warm relationship as he tell the British Prime Minister to, ‘go gettum Margaret’ as she prepared to face the house of commons.