Love Stories In History: Ronald and Nancy Reagan
Enduring love and dedication are apt words to describe the love story of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. Today, many people only know them as the fortieth President of the United States and the first lady respectively, but both of these individuals led exciting lives long before their paths ever crossed. The following describes the lives of both Nancy and Ronald Reagan before they met as well as how their lives changed after they fell in love.
In 1911, Ronald Reagan was born in Tampico, Illinois to parents Jack and Nelle Reagan. He also had an older sibling named Neil. The Reagan family moved to Dixon, Illinois where Ronald attended high school. While studying economics as well as sociology at Eureka College, Ronald played football for the school's team. He also participated in plays put on by the school. He loved sports and went on to become a radio sportscaster following graduation. A trip to Hollywood for a screen test would be Ronald Reagan's next adventurous career move. He signed a movie contract and acted in over fifty Hollywood films. He acted alongside star Errol Flynn in Santa Fe Trail(1940) and played a friend to lead actress Bette Davis in Dark Victory(1939). Reagan also served as the president of the Screen Actors Guild for a time. He married actress Jane Wyman in Hollywood and they had two children. The marriage ended after eight years. Later, he met actress, Nancy Davis who he acted alongside in the movie Hellcats of the Navy. Nancy Davis would marry Ronald in 1952. Ronald and Nancy had two children, Patricia and Ronald. Reagan soon moved from a career in the movies to one in politics and he served two terms as California's governor in 1966.
Ronald Reagan ran for President of the United States twice before winning the 1980 election. He would go on to serve two consecutive terms in in office. Many notable events took place during Reagan’s presidency. For example, he survived an assassination attempt in 1981, but had to have surgery to repair the serious wounds. Also, during his presidency, he worked to improve America's relationship with the Soviet Union. He and Mikhail Gorbachev negotiated a treaty concerning the elimination of intermediate range nuclear missiles. Ronald Reagan also nominated Sandra Day O'Connor as the first woman to sit on the Supreme Court. Furthermore, during Reagan's time as president the 'Just Say No' campaign against drugs came into being. Nancy Reagan vigorously supported this campaign that was meant to discourage young people from using drugs. When Reagan left office in 1989, America was experiencing a time of economic prosperity.
After his presidency ended in 1989, with the occasional exception of speaking engagements, Ronald Reagan retired from public life. In the 1990s, he learned that he had Alzheimer's disease and began to lead a more private life. Ronald Reagan died in 2004 at the age of 93. Nancy Reagan, now 90 years old, continues to support her husband's political legacy.
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