PRE-PRESIDENTIAL BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF RONALD W. REAGAN

 

Feb. 6, 1911          Ronald Wilson Reagan was born in Tampico, Ill. to Nelle Wilson and John Edward ("Jack") Reagan. The Reagans had one previous son, Neil ("Moon") Reagan.

 

1920                      The Reagans moved to a succession of rural northern Illinois towns until they settled in Dixon, Illinois, the place Reagan considers his hometown

 

1926                      Beginning in 1926, Reagan was employed as a lifeguard at Lowell Park in Dixon. He was credited with saving 77 lives during the 7 summers he worked there.

 

1928                      Reagan graduated from Dixon High School. He served as student body president and participated in football, basketball, track, and school plays.

 

1928-1932             Reagan attended Eureka (Illinois) College, a small liberal arts institution, and majored in economics and sociology. During his sophomore year, Reagan became interested in drama. Reagan also served as student body president. Franklin Delano Roosevelt's populist rhetoric attracted Reagan to him and later influenced Reagan's speaking style.

 

1932                      Reagan received a temporary sports broadcasting job with WOC, a small radio station in Davenport, Iowa. After WOC consolidated with WHO in Des Moines, "Dutch" recreated Chicago Cubs baseball games from the studio. WHO, an NBC affiliate, gave Reagan natlonal media exposure.

 

1937                      Reagan enlisted in the Army Reserve as a Private but was soon promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in the Officers Reserve Corps of the Cavalry. An agent for Warner Brothers "discovered" Reagan in Los Angeles and offered him a seven year contract. Reagan played George Gipp in his most acclaimed film, Knute Rockne -- All American (l940).

 

Jan 24, 1940         Reagan and Jane Wyman married. They met while making the movie, "Brother Rat."

 

Jan 04 1941           Maureen was born

 

1942                      The Army Air Force called Reagan to active duty and assigned Lieutenant Reagan to the 1st Motion Picture Unit in Culver City, California, where he made over 400 training films.

 

Jul 22 1943           The Army promoted Reagan to the rank of Captain

 

Dec 09 1945          The Army discharged Captain Reagan.

 

1945 1965           Reagan resumed his acting career after the war. Reagan made fifty-three motion pictures and one television movie.

 

Mar 18 1945          Michael was born.

 

1948                     Reagan supported Harry Truman for President

 

1949                     Reagan and Wyman divorced.

 

1950                     Reagan campaigned for Helen Gahagan Douglas for the Senate.

 

1952                      Reagan campaigned as a Democrat for Eisenhower. Reagan accepted a job as spokesman for the General Electric Company which allowed him to tour the country giving speeches.

 

Mar 4 1952            Reagan and Nancy Davis wed.

 

Oct 21 1952           Patricia was born.

 

1956                      Reagan campaigned as a Democrat for Eisenhower.

 

May 20 1958          Ronald Prescott was born.

 

1960                      Reagan campaigned for Richard Nixon for President.

 

1962                      Reagan officially changed his party registration to Republican.

 

1964                      Reagan's television address for Goldwater, "A Time for Choosing," launched his political career. A group of California businessmen soon afterward supported Reagan's candidacy for Governor.

 

1965                      Reagan's autobiography, Where's the Rest of Me? is published.

 

1966                      Reagan defeated incumbent governor Edmund G. ("Pat") Brown in a landslide. His success in the election and as governor made him a leading contender for the Republican Presidential nomination in 1968.

 

1968                      Reagan made a tentative run for the presidency, waiting until the Republican National Convention to announce his candidacy. He later joined in unanimously supporting Richard Nixon.

 

1970                      Reagan is re-elected governor.

 

1974                      For several months after his gubernatorial term ended, Reagan wrote a syndicated newspaper column and provided commentaries on radio stations across the country.

 

Nov 20, 1975         Reagan announced candidacy for the Republican nomination for president. He lost the party's nomination, but his strong showing laid the groundwork for the election in 1980.

 

Nov 13, 1979         Reagan announced his candidacy for President. After winning the party's nomination, he chose George Bush as his running mate. The platform called for "a new consensus with all those across the land who share a community of values embodied in these words: family, work, neighborhood, peace, and freedom."

 

Nov 4 1980            Reagan was elected the 40th President of the United States in a landslide victory over the incumbent, Jimmy Carter.

 

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