Ronald Reagan
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Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911 - 2004)

President Ronald Wilson Reagan
Born in Tampico, Whiteside County, Illinois, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Brother of
Husband of — married 26 Jan 1940 (to 1949) in Wee Kirk o' the Heather Church, Glendale, Californiamap
Husband of — married 4 Mar 1952 in Little Brown Church in the San Fernando Valley, Californiamap
Died at age 93 in Bel Air, Los Angeles County, California, United Statesmap
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Ronald Reagan was the President of the United States.
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Preceded by
39th President
Jimmy Carter

Preceded by
32nd Governor

Pat Brown
Ronald Reagan
40th President
of the United States
Presidential Seal

33rd Governor
of California
California Seal
Succeeded by
41st President
George Bush

Succeeded by
34th Governor

Jerry Brown



Notables Project
Ronald Reagan is Notable.

Ronald Reagan was the 40th President of the United States, as well as an American actor and veteran.


Ronald Wilson Reagan was born on 06 February 1911, to John and Nelle Reagan in Tampico, Illinois.[1][2] He had one sibling, Neil.

Ronald attended high school in nearby Dixon and then worked his way through Eureka College. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and sociology, played on the football team, and acted in school plays.[3][4]

After graduating, Ronald moved to Iowa, where he became a radio sports announcer.

Ronald's first marriage was to actress Sara Jane (Mayfield) Wyman, (1940–1949) . [5] They had one child together, Maureen, and adopted a son.[6]

In 1952 Ronald married Nancy Davis, who was also an actress, and they had two children.[3]


29 April 1937 Ronald enlisted into the U.S. Army Reserves as a private assigned to Troop B, 322nd Cavalry in Iowa. He was next appointed in the Officers Reserve Corps of the Cavalry on 25 May 1937, and assigned to the 323rd Cavalry on 18th of June. He went into active duty on 18 April 1942. Due to Ronald's nearsightedness, he was classified for limited service only, so he was ineligible for overseas duty. His first assignment was at the San Francisco Port of Embarkation at Fort Manson, California, as a liaison officer of the Port and Transportation Office.

Upon the approval of the Army Air Forces, Ronald applied for a transfer from the Cavalry to the AAF on 15 May 1942, and was assigned to AAF Public Relations and subsequently to the first motion picture base in Culver City, beginning his foray into acting. On 14 January 1943 he was promoted to First Lieutenant. He then returned to the first motion picture unit and was promoted to Captain on 22 July 1943.

In January 1944, Captain Reagan was ordered to temporary duty in New York City to participate in the opening of the sixth War Loan Drive. He was reassigned to the 18th AAF Base Unit on 14 November 1944 where he remained until the end of WWII. He was recommended for promotion to Major on 02 February 1945, but this recommendation was disapproved on the 17th of July of that year. He returned to Fort MacArthur in California, where he was separated from active duty on 09 December 1945. By the end of the war, his units had produced some 400 training films for the AAF. His reserve was terminated on 01 April 1953. [7]


A screen test in 1937 won Ronald a contract in Hollywood. During the next two decades he appeared in 53 films.[3][4]

As president of the Screen Actors Guild, Ronald became embroiled in disputes over the issue of Communism in the film industry; his political views shifted from liberal before 1962 to conservative. He toured the country as a television host, becoming a spokesman for conservatism.

In 1963 Ronald became an honorary member of the Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity, Alpha Zeta Chapter at University of Southern California.


Ronald was the 33rd Governor of California, in office from 02 January 1967 to 06 January 1975.[3][4] He went on to win the Republican Presidential nomination in 1980 and chose as his running mate former Texas Congressman, United Nations Ambassador, and future United States President George H.W. Bush. Ronald won the election and became the 40th President of the United States of America. He was elected to two terms in office, serving from 20 January 1981 to 20 January 1989.[3][4]

On the 20th of January 1981, Reagan took office. Only 69 days later he was shot by a would-be assassin, but quickly recovered and returned to duty. His grace and wit during the dangerous incident caused his popularity to soar.[3]

Ronald pushed many new projects while in office, especially known for his "Reaganomics", which advocated reducing tax rates in order to encourage economic growth, monitoring currency to reduce inflation, deregulation of the economy, and reducing government spending.[4] He was re-elected for a second term by a landslide in 1984, proclaiming that it was "Morning in America".[4]

Foreign policy was the theme of his second term, including the end of the Cold War, the 1986 bombing of Libya, and conflict with Iran.[4] Referring to the Soviet Union as an "evil empire", the Cold War was prime in his sites, as he worked against Communism worldwide. He negotiated with the Soviet's Mikhail Gorbachev which led to the INF Treaty as well as a decrease of both countries' nuclear arsenals.[4]

At the end of his two terms in office, Ronald Reagan viewed with satisfaction the achievements of his innovative program known as the Reagan Revolution, which aimed to reinvigorate the American people and reduce their reliance upon Government. He felt he had fulfilled his campaign pledge of 1980 to restore "the great, confident roar of American progress and growth and optimism."[3]


According to Paul Kengor, author of God and Ronald Reagan, Reagan had a particularly strong faith in the goodness of people, which stemmed from the optimistic faith of his mother, Nelle, and the Disciples of Christ faith he was baptized into in 1922.[4] The Reagans purchased a home in Bel Air, Los Angeles, California, after leaving office in 1989. They regularly attended Bel Air Presbyterian Church.[4]


In 1994, the former president disclosed that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease earlier in the year; he died ten years later, 05 June 2004, at the age of 93.

Ronald was buried at the Ronald W Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, Ventura County, California, United States.[8]


"Whatever else history may say about me when I’m gone, I hope it will record that I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears; to your confidence rather than your doubts. My dream is that you will travel the road ahead with liberty’s lamp guiding your steps and opportunity’s arm steadying your way."

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free." Address to the annual meeting of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, (30 March 1961).

"I'm convinced that today the majority of Americans want what those first Americans wanted: A better life for themselves and their children; a minimum of government authority. Very simply, they want to be left alone in peace and safety to take care of the family by earning an honest dollar and putting away some savings. This may not sound too exciting, but there is something magnificent about it. On the farm, on the street corner, in the factory and in the kitchen, millions of us ask nothing more, but certainly nothing less than to live our own lives according to our values — at peace with ourselves, our neighbors and the world." Nationally televised address, (6 July 1976).


  1. "United States Census, 1930," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 1 June 2018), Ronald Reagan in household of John E Reagan, Dixon, Lee, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 17, sheet 7A, line 47, family 207, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 523; FHL microfilm 2,340,258.
  2. "United States Census, 1920," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 1 June 2018), Ronald W Reagan in household of John C Reagan, Tampico, Whiteside, Illinois, United States; citing ED 178, sheet 3A, line 2, family 53, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992), roll 414; FHL microfilm 1,820,414.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 "Ronald Reagan, The Presidential biographies"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 Wikipedia contributors, "Ronald Reagan," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed July 18, 2013).
  5. "California, County Marriages, 1850-1952," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 02 May 2020), Ronald Wilson Reagan and Sara Jane Wyman, 26 Jan 1940; citing Los Angeles, California, United States, county courthouses, California; FHL microfilm 2,114,368.
  6. "United States Census, 1940," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 1 June 2018), Ronald Reagan, Councilmanic District 2, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Township, Los Angeles, California, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 60-173, sheet 5A, line 33, family 101, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 - 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012, roll 404.
  7. "Military Service of Ronald Reagan" [1]
  8. Find a Grave, database and images (accessed 23 March 2023), memorial page for Ronald Wilson Reagan (6 Feb 1911–5 Jun 2004), Find A Grave: Memorial #4244, citing Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, Ventura County, California, USA; Maintained by Find a Grave. GPS: Latitude: 34.25899, Longitude: -118.82043.

See Also:

Citing this Record

WikiTree contributors, "Ronald Reagan (1911 - 2004)," WikiTree, Reagan-1 (accessed December 1, 2023).

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Reagan was a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS)?
posted by E Borgman
He is listed on the NEHGS list of former officers, along with Nancy and a handful of other presidents


posted by Robin Lee
While he used and preferred "Ron" on a personal level on a public level his screen name was "Ronald Reagan" and this carried over to his political career.

Hollywood, California, Warner Brothers Studios, 1937:

'The first item on the agenda was a meeting to choose my name....I said, " May I point out that I have a lot of name recognition in a large part of the country, particularly in the Middle West, where I've been broadcasting sports. I think a lot of people would recognise my name on theatre marquees. "

One of them said, "Dutch Reagan? You can't put Dutch Reagan on a marquee."... and so I ventured inquiringly:

" How about Ronald?...Ronald Reagan?"..."Hey, that's not bad," one said.

Pretty soon you would have thought they had thought it up.' (Reagan, Ronald, "An American Life").

posted by Thomas Heath
Here is a quote:

Until Tuesday afternoon, when they signed a treaty eliminating the superpowers' medium-range nuclear weapons arsenals, Reagan and Gorbachev had used formal forms of address: "Mr. General Secretary" and "Mr. President."

That changed in a quiet moment after the ceremony when Reagan said to Gorbachev, "in working situations, my name is Ron."

"My name is Mikhail," Gorbachev replied.

"Maybe, in private session, we can go by first names," Reagan responded.

Los Angeles Times, 10 December 1987 [1]

posted by Terry Winchester
If you do a search and use "Ron", you will get his son. That is the biggest reason we have him as Ronald, plus, most people recognize him as Ronald Reagan. A quote from him or his family where he is referred to as Ron would be appropriate.
posted by Robin Lee
Would it be appropriate to refer to President Reagan as "Ron" instead of "Ronald" in the biography. This is the name he introduced himself as, and likely preferred to use.
posted by Terry Winchester