|Ronald Wilson Reagan was born in Tampico, Illinois. When he graduated from college he became a radio announcer. In 1937 he headed to Hollywood where he began a film career which lasted 25 years. He married actress Jane Wyman in 1940. Their marriage lasted eight years during which the couple became parents of two children, Maureen and Michael. In 1952 Reagan married actress Nancy Davis. They had two children Patricia and Ronald.
While an actor in Hollywood, Reagan served as President of the Screen Actors Guild. During this time his views became more conservative. Reagan lent his support to conservative political figures, notably Barry Goldwater. In doing so he became popular enough to run for office himself. In 1966 he became governor of California. He remained governor for two full terms and left California a budget surplus of $550 million.
Reagan was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate in 1980. He and his running mate, George Bush easily defeated President Jimmy Carter who was running for re-election. Reagan remained president for the next eight years. The Reagan Presidency will be remembered for many things. Reagan survived an assassination attempt after being in office only three months. He gained the hearts of Americans as he used humor to recover from his injury.
Reagan instilled a sense of patriotism and pride into Americans, things which had been damaged during the preceeding Carter administration and the Iran hostage crisis. He is also know for cutting taxes and stimulating the economy, while trying to stop the growth of big government.
One of the negative events of Reagan's presidency was the Iran-Contra scandal. This scandal involved illegal transfers of arms and money from a number of foreign countries. The scandal did not hurt Reagan in the long run and he finished his two terms in office with the highest approval rating of any president.