Wilson Reagan (February 6, 1911 June 5, 2004) was
the 40th President of the United States (19811989).
Prior to his presidency, he served as the 33rd Governor
of California (19671975), and was a radio, film
and television actor.
40th President of the United States
in Tampico, Illinois, and raised in Dixon, Reagan was
educated at Eureka College, earning a Bachelor of Arts
degree in economics and sociology. After graduating, Reagan
moved first to Iowa to work as a radio broadcaster and
then, in 1937, to Los Angeles where he began a career
as an actor, first in films and later television. Some
of his most notable films include Knute Rockne, All American
(1940), Kings Row (1942), and Bedtime for Bonzo (1951).
Reagan served as President of the Screen Actors Guild
and later as a spokesman for General Electric (GE); his
start in politics occurred during his work for GE. Originally
a member of the Democratic Party, his positions began
shifting rightward in the 1950s, and he switched to the
Republican Party in 1962.
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 and in 1976, but won both
the nomination and general election in 1980, defeating
incumbent Jimmy Carter.
president, Reagan implemented sweeping new political and
economic initiatives. His supply-side economic policies,
dubbed "Reaganomics", advocated reducing tax
rates to spur economic growth, controlling the money supply
to reduce inflation, deregulation of the economy, and
reducing government spending. In his first term, he survived
an assassination attempt, took a hard line against labor
unions, announced a new War on Drugs, and ordered an invasion
of Grenada. He was re-elected in a landslide in 1984,
proclaiming that it was "Morning in America".
His second term was primarily marked by foreign matters,
such as the ending of the Cold War, the 1986 bombing of
Libya, and the revelation of the IranContra affair.
Publicly describing the Soviet Union as an "evil
empire", he supported anti-communist movements worldwide
and spent his first term forgoing the strategy of détente
by ordering a massive military buildup in an arms race
with the USSR. Reagan negotiated with Soviet General Secretary
Mikhail Gorbachev, culminating in the INF Treaty and the
decrease of both countries' nuclear arsenals.
left office in 1989. In 1994, the former president disclosed
that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease earlier
in the year; he died ten years later at the age of 93.
A conservative icon, he ranks highly in public opinion
polls of U.S. Presidents and is credited for generating
an ideological renaissance on the American political right.
are two accounts of President Reagan witnessing a UFO,
both occurring while he was Governor of California.
first was when Reagan and his wife Nancy were on their
way to a party at actor William Holden's house. Reagan
entered the party telling some guests, including Lucille
Ball and Steve Allen, that he and Nancy saw a UFO while
driving to the gala.
he was elected President, I kept thinking about that event,
and wondered if he still would have won if he told everyone
that he saw a flying saucer. " Lucille
second sighting occurred while Reagan was being flown
in a private plane. During descent, Reagan noticed a glowing
object behind the plane. The pilot followed the object
until it sped off with amazing speed.
was a bright white light. We followed it to Bakersfield
and all of a sudden to our utter amazement it went straight
up into the heavens ." Ronald Reagan