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Thursday, 01 May 2008 13:57

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ronald Reagan - the Gipper

Date Born: 02/06/1911

Date Died: 06/05/2004

Age at Death: 93

Circumstances of Death: Alzheimer's disease.

Resting Place: Interred at Ronald Reagan Presidential Library California.

Ronald Wilson Reagan  was the fortieth President of the United States (1981–1989) and the thirty-third Governor of California (1967–1975). Born in Illinois, Reagan moved to Los Angeles, California in the 1930s, where he was an actor, president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and a spokesman for General Electric (GE). His start in politics occurred during his work for GE; originally a member of the Democratic Party, he switched to the Republican Party in 1962. After delivering a rousing speech in support of Barry Goldwater's presidential candidacy in 1964, he was persuaded to seek the California governorship, winning two years later and again in 1970. He was defeated in his run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968 as well as 1976, but won both the nomination and election in 1980.

As president, Reagan implemented new political initiatives as well as economic policies, advocating a limited government and economic laissez-faire philosophy, but as to whether these ideas were successfully implemented is the subject of frequent debate. The supply side economic policies, dubbed "Reaganomics", included substantial tax cuts implemented in 1981. After surviving an assassination attempt and ordering controversial military actions in Grenada, he was re-elected in a landslide victory in 1984.

Reagan's second term was marked by the ending of the Cold War, as well as a number of administration scandals, notably the Iran-Contra Affair. The president ordered a massive military buildup in an arms race with the Soviet Union, forgoing the previous strategy of détente. He publicly portrayed the USSR as an "evil empire" and supported anti-Communist movements worldwide. Despite his rejection of détente, he negotiated with Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to shrink both countries' nuclear arsenals. Reagan left office in 1989; in 1994 the former president disclosed that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

He died ten years later at the age of ninety-three, and ranks highly among former U.S. presidents in terms of approval rating.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 November 2008 17:57
 

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