RONALD REAGAN LEGACY
40th President of U.S.A. Ronald Wilson Reagan
On Feb.6,1911, Ronald Wilson Reagan was born to Nelle and John Reagan in Tampico, Illinois. His great-grandfather, Michael Reagan was from County Tipperary and his wife, Catherine Mulcahey, was also born in Ireland.
Ronald Reagan attended high school in Dixon, Illinois, then went on to Eureka College, where he studied economics and sociology, played football and acted in school plays. Upon Graduation, he became a radio sports announcer. In 1937 he took a screen test and won a contract in Hollywood. During the next two decades he appeared in 53 films.
His first marriage to actress Jane Wyman produced two children, Maureen and Michael. In 1952, he married Nancy Davis, also an actress, and they had two children,Patricia ann and Ronald Prescott.
Ronald Reagan was elected Governor of California in 1966 by a margin of a million votes. He was re-elected in 1970.
Ronald Reagan won the Republican Presidential nomination in 1980 and choose former Texas Congressman and United Nations Ambassador George Bush as his running mate. He won 489 electoral votes to 49 for President Jimmy Carter. On January 20,1981,he was sworn in as the President of the United States of America. Only 69 days later, he was shot by a would-be assassin, but quickly recovered and returned to duty.
Dealing skillfully with Congress,Reagan obtained legislation to stimulate economic growth,curb inflation,increase employment, and strenghthen national defense.He embarked upon a course of cutting taxes and Government expenditures, refusing to deviate from it when the strengthening of defense forces led to a large deficit.
In 1984, Reagan and Bush won a second term with an unprecedented number of electoral votes, defeating Democratic challengers Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro.
In 1986, he obtained an overhaul of the income tax code, eliminating many deductions and exempting millions of people with low incomes.
His foreign policy sought to achieve “peace through strength”. During his two terms, he increased defense spending 35% but also sought to improve relations with the Soviet Union. In dramatic meetings with Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev,he negotiated a treaty that eliminated intermediate-range missiles. Reagan also declared war against international terrorism, sending American bombers against Libya after evidence came out that Libya was involved in an attack on American soldiers in a West Berlin nightclub.
By ordering naval escorts in the Persian Gulf, he maintained the free flow of oil during the Iran-Iraq war.In keeping with the Reagan Doctrine, he gave support to anti-
Communist insurgencies in Central America, Asia and Africa.
Overall, the Reagan years saw a restoration of prosperity,and the goal of “peace through strength” seemed to be within reach.
After a 10 year battle with Alzheimer’s disease, Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th President of the United States of America died on June 5, 2004.
This article was condensed from the Internet by Larry McGrath
Home Updated 01/09/2012