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Ronald Wilson Reagan

40th President of the United States
(January 20, 1981 to January 20, 1989)

Nicknames: "The Gipper"; "The Great Communicator"; "Dutch"

Born: February 6, 1911, in Tampico, Illinois
Died: June 5, 2004, in Los Angeles, California

Father: John Edward Reagan
Mother: Nelle Wilson Reagan
Married: Jane Wyman (1917-2007), on June 25, 1940 (divorced in 1948); Nancy Davis (1923- ), on March 4, 1952
Children: Maureen Elizabeth Reagan (1941-2001); Michael Edward Reagan (adopted) (1945- ); Patricia Ann Reagan (1952- ); Ronald Prescott Reagan (1958- )

Religion: Disciples of Christ
Education: Graduated from Eureka College (1932)
Occupation: Actor, public official
Political Party: Republican
Other Government Positions:

  • Governor of California, 1967-75

Presidential Salary: $200,000/year + $50,000 expense account

Presidential Election Results:



Popular Votes

Electoral Votes


tiny U.S. flag James E. Carter, Jr.




tiny U.S. flag Gerald R. Ford




Ronald Reagan




Ronald Reagan




tiny U.S. flag James E. Carter, Jr.




John B. Anderson




Ronald Reagan




Walter F. Mondale



Vice President: tiny U.S. flag George Bush (1981-89)


Secretary of State

Alexander M. Haig, Jr. (1981-82)

George P. Schultz (1982-89)

Secretary of the Treasury

Donald T. Regan (1981-85)

James A. Baker, III (1985-88)

Nicholas F. Brady (1988-89)

Secretary of Defense

Caspar W. Weinberger (1981-87)

Frank C. Carlucci (1987-89)

Attorney General

William French Smith (1981-85)

Edwin Meese (1985-88)

Dick Thornburgh (1988-89)

Secretary of the Interior

James G. Watt (1981-83)

William P. Clark (1983-85)

Donald P. Hodel (1985-89)

Secretary of Agriculture

John R. Block (1981-86)

Richard E. Lyng (1986-89)

Secretary of Commerce

Malcolm Baldrige (1981-87)

C. William Verity (1987-89)

Secretary of Labor

Raymond J. Donovan (1981-85)

William Brock (1985-87)

Ann Dore McLaughlin (1987-89)

Secretary of Health and Human Services

Richard S. Schweiker (1981-83)

Margaret M. Heckler (1983-85)

Otis R. Bowen (1985-89)

Secretary of Education

Terrel H. Bell (1981-85)

William J. Bennett (1985-88)

Lauro F. Cavazos, Jr. (1988-89)

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Samuel R. Pierce, Jr. (1981-89)

Secretary of Transportation

Andrew L. Lewis, Jr. (1981-83)

Elizabeth H. Dole (1983-87)

James H. Burnley (1987-89)

Secretary of Energy

James B. Edwards (1981-82)

Donald P. Hodel (1982-85)

John Herrington (1985-89)

Notable Events:

  • 1981

    • On March 30, shot in an assassination attempt by John W. Hinkley, Jr. outside of the Washington, D.C. Hilton Hotel.

Internet Biographies:

Ronald Reagan -- from The Presidents of the United States of America

Compiled by the White House.

Ronald Reagan -- from Table of Presidents and Vice Presidents of the United States - MSN Encarta

Grolier Online has created this resource from its collection of print articles in Encyclopedia Americana. Contains a full biography, written by Robert J. Huckshorn of Florida Atlantic University and revised by Donald Young, author of American Roulette: The History and Dilemma of the Vice Presidency, along with suggestions for further reading.

Ronald Reagan -- from The American President

From the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, in addition to information on the Presidents themselves, they have first lady and cabinet member biographies, listings of presidential staff and advisers, and timelines detailing significant events in the lives of each administration.

Ronald Reagan -- from Character Above All

From a PBS broadcast of the same name, this essay excerpt by Peggy Noonan discusses some of the issues and events that molded Reagan.

Historical Documents:

First Inaugural Address (1981)
Second Inaugural Address (1985)
Commencement at Eureka College (1957)
A Time for Choosing ("The Speech") (1964)
The Creative Society (1966)
California and the Problem of Government Growth (1967)
Republican National Convention (1976)
Announcement for the Presidency (1979)
Acceptance of Presidential Nomination (1980)
President Reagan's Speech to the House of Commons (Evil Empire Speech) (1982)
Defense and National Security (SDI) (1983)
Bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut (1983)
Soviet Attack on Korean Flight 007 (1983)
President Reagan's Speech at Pointe de Hoc, Normandy, France (The 40th Anniversary of D-Day) (1984)
President Reagan's Address at the U.S.-French Ceremony at Omaha Beach, Normandy, France (The 40th Anniversary of D-Day) (1984)
President Reagan's Speech on the Challenger Disaster (1986)
Tear Down this Wall (1987)
President Reagan's Farewell Speech (1989)
Former President Reagan's Speech at the National Republican Convention (1992)
President Reagan's Speech on the Occasion of the Tenth Anniversary of the Announcement of the Strategic Defense Initiative (1993)
Reagan Announces Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease (1994)

Media Resources:

From his first State of the Union address on January 26, 1982. (0:56)

RealAudio | MP3 (445K)

From the Vincent Voice Library at Michigan State University under the leadership of Dr. Maurice Crane.

President Reagan Farewell Address to the Nation

AU (179K)

President Reagan begins bombing in five minutes (0:08)

AU (69K)

More audio and video can be found at
Audio & Video
The American Presidency Project's Presidential Audio/Video Archive for Ronald Reagan site

Other Internet Resources:

Ronald Reagan Filmology

From the Internet Movie Database, this list of Reagan screen credits includes, Code of the Secret Service (1939), Knute Rockne, All American (1940), and Bedtime for Bonzo (1951).

Ronald W. Reagan Presidential Foundation

Tourist information for the Library, calendar of events, and an online catalog of your favorite Reagan attire from the Museum. Located in Simi Valley, California.

Ronald W. Reagan Presidential Library and Museum

Location and hours of operation information, plus a description of the exhibits.

The Reagan Ranch

Dedicated to preserving Rancho del Cielo as it existed during Reagan's presidency. Programs exist to develop leadership skills for young men and women.

A tribute to Reagan that includes audio, video, photos, speeches and a list of his humorous quotes.

The Day Reagan Was Shot

Transcripts from the White House Situation Room after Reagan was shot.

Points of Interest:

  • At 69 years old, Reagan was the oldest elected president.

  • At 93 years old, Reagan lived longer than any other president.




Ronald Reagan

40th President of the United States
(January 20, 1981 to January 20, 1989)


Nancy Reagan