Dr. Brown: "Then tell me, future boy, who's President of the United States in 1985?" Marty McFly: "Ronald Reagan!"Our 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, broke new ground in his rise to the presidency as well as during his administration. A Hollywood actor, Reagan was President of the Screen Actors Guild, when Hollywood began to look through its ranks for Communists. This helped to sharpen Reagan's conservatism that would define his political career. In 1966, he was elected Governor of California, and reelected in 1970.
Dr. Brown: "Ronald Reagan? The actor?"
- Back to the Future
Reagan sought the Republican presidential nomination twice (1968 and 1976) before finally securing it in 1980. In that election, Reagan buried incumbent Jimmy Carter in an electoral landslide. Four years later, Reagan was reelected with the highest number of electoral votes ever received by a candidate.
His presidency was defined by a series of domestic achievements supported by his policies of "Reaganomics." He is also remembered for firing the nation's air traffic controllers when they went on strike, which Reagan believed to be in violation of the Taft-Hartley Act. At the end of his eight years in office, Reagan had presided over the longest period of peacetime prosperity without economic recession or depression. Reagan made history when he appointed the first woman to the Supreme Court, Sandra Day O'Connor. Reagan also elevated William Rehnquist to Chief Justice and appointed Antonin Scalia to replace him.
In the foreign policy arena, Reagan ordered a withdrawal of American forces from Lebanon shortly after the deaths of 241 Americans in a bombing at the US barracks in Beirut. Two days after the bombing, Reagan sent US forces into Grenada to help sustain a pro-Western government in the Caribbean. Reagan also escalated the Cold War, which in turn helped to bring about its end. Part of his Cold War strategy was the development of the Strategic Defense Initiative, more derisively known as "Star Wars." The Iran-Contra affair also left a stain on the Reagan legacy, despite Reagan's denials that he was not aware of what was going on.
- born February 6, 1911 in Tampico, Illinois
- died June 5, 2004 in Bel Air, California (age 93)
- party: Republican
- wife: Nancy Davis Reagan (Reagan was also married to the actress Jane Wyman)
- Ronald Reagan / George H.W. Bush (R) - 43,903-230 (50.8%) / 489 EVs
- Jimmy Carter / Walter Mondale (D) - 35,480,115 (41%) / 49 EVs
- Ronald Reagan / George H.W. Bush (R) - 54,455,472 (58.8%) / 525 EVs
- Walter Mondale / Geraldine Ferraro (D) - 37,577,352 (40.6%) / 13 EVs
- On March 30, 1981, Reagan broke the Curse of Tecumseh, when he survived an assassination attempt outside the Washington Hilton in Washington DC.
- As of today, Ronald Reagan is the oldest man to be elected President. Let's make sure he holds on to that record, OK?
- Reagan is also the only President to have been divorced. Let's give him that one to hold onto, also?
- At his marriage to Nancy, the actor William Holden served as Reagan's best man.
- Reagan succeeded Edmund G. Brown, Sr. (Pat Brown) as Governor of California. Reagan was in turn succeeded by Edmund G. Brown, Jr. (Jerry Brown), likely one of the only cases of gubernatorial succession of father to son interrupted by an actor.
- During Reagan's presidency, the first use of the "acting president" clause of the 25th Amendment was invoked, when Reagan underwent surgery to remove polyps from his colon in July 1985.
- Reagan's state funeral in 2004 was the first since Lyndon Johnson in 1973.
- White House biography
- Internet Public Library biography
- Miller Center biography
- C-SPAN biography
- BBC biography
- Time 100: Ronald Reagan
- CNN site on Reagan, created upon his death in 2004
- Ronald Reagan (from the New York Times)
- Ronald Reagan (from the Washington Post)
- Ronald Reagan's IMDB entry
- Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California (I've been here)
- A second mirror site for the Presidential Library
- Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Foundation
- The Reagan Ranch, AKA the Western White House, Rancho del Cielo
- Character Above All Essay on Reagan by Peggy Noonan
- Audio and Video collection of Reagan speeches
- Ronald Reagan website
- Ronald Reagan memorial website
- The USS Ronald Reagan, an aircraft carrier