On February 6, 1911 an icon was born. He was not the typical American President, whom only lived a one sided life. President Ronald Wilson Reagan was a successful actor who found himself disagreeing with the way Hollywood began to function. At this time he became an anti communist and made it his mission to make a positive change in America. Growing up in an alcoholic household President Reagan was a mid-western boy from Tampico Illinois, who worked his way through education and success. He was not an Ivy League individual, but was someone who had positive visions of the future for the country he loved most and the people of the country returned that same love, respect and support. He served as Americas 40th President from 1981 to 1989.
During 1940’s Regan became a strong anti Communist, and maintained his loyalty to the Democratic Party. Giving his status as an actor he contributed greatly towards the election of president Harry Truman. In 1966 he gave a speech called “Time for Choosing” that offered charisma and a view that impressed the Republican Part leading to his nomination for Governor of California. The major surprise of any political party was during the 1950’s. As time passed President Reagan continued to grow his anti communistic mentality and a dramatic conversion in American history occurred when he went from supporting FDR’s Democrat party to the conservative Republican.
Like all Hollywood celebrities Mr. Reagan fell into the trap of Hollywood love story. In 1938 he met his first wife Jane Wyman while filming Brother Rat. The two had two biological daughters and an adopted son. But his ambition for politics got in the way of his happily ever after. After divorcing with Ms. Wyman, he was contacted by actress Nancy Davis seeking his help in removing her name from what they called the communist blacklist in Hollywood. She later became Mrs. Nancy Reagan and the mother of his children. This love was pure and completely visible to the eyes of the world. Even during his presidency, he continued writing love letter to the woman he called the love of his life.
He was an actor turned politician, recognizing his true calling wile working in California for the Actors Guild Award; he became bothered by communism in Hollywood and took it upon himself to make a change. His upbringing provided ability for president Reagan to communicate with average citizens like no other president before. His way of communication was simple and reasonable, causing positive reassurance as he kept the promises he made in his speeches during his campaign for election.
In 1976, Reagan became the Republican Party candidate for president, running against President Gerald Ford. His charisma, communication skills with the public and support by organizations such as the American Conservative Union, he became popular and people trusted his vision. During the election he discussed his worries of lowering taxes to stimulate the economy, freedom of people with less governmental interference, and according to Kneeland (1980) Reagan was concerned and supporting state rights, and restoring the U.S. dollar to a gold standard.
During Reagan’s presidency, his main concentration was to have a better and healthier America. He related to the lower class and middle class and the people loved him simply because he cared about the American Peoples Well being and success. It was during his presidency, federal income taxes rates were lowered significantly by signing the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, which lowered the top bracket from 70% to 50% and the lower bracket from 14% to 11%. But no president has ever left the office without some form of a scandal. It was not a love type of scandal but one that the world would never forget. During the second term in office, The Iran-Contra Affairs was the biggest scandal ever committed by any government as the world found out that American government was training weapons for hostages. At first President Reagan denied having any knowledge of such behavior, however, later announced and admitted his mistakes. Tragedy struck on March 30, 1981, when John W. Hinckley, Jr. shot the President of the United States, outside of the Hilton Hotel in Washington D.C. It is said that prior and after the surgery that almost killed President Reagan expressed humor in the matter. It was claimed that Mr. Hinckley was shooting at movie at the time of the shooting, and he took aim at President Reagan to win over yet another Hollywood starlet Jody Foster.
After spending two terms as the American President, Reagan retired and shortly after was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. In November 5, 1999, he wrote a different letter, this time it was to the American People informing them of his illness. President Reagan’s life was always in the spot light. He trusted his people and died a legend. He is remembered as a Hollywood hunk turned Politician. He was married, divorced and married again. He simply trusted and allowed the words of others to be herd as he remembered his upbringing. America continues to seek leadership that resembles the leadership of President Reagan’s Cabinet as they truly were thoughtful and took into consideration the struggles many faced. In today’s economy such hope continues to exist and the American People are waiting to be herd yet again by a leadership who cared about the wellbeing of others. President Reagan was a man who took his struggles and talent, used them as a form of strength to make a difference in the world; a lesson for all to be learned and a man to truly idolize for his achievements.