POTUS: Presidents of the United States

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Portrait, Ronald Wilson Reagan

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:
Year Popular Votes Electoral Votes
1976 tiny U.S. flag James E. Carter, Jr. 40,827,394 297
tiny U.S. flag Gerald R. Ford 39,145,977 240
Ronald Reagan 1
1980 Ronald Reagan 43,267,489 489
tiny U.S. flag James E. Carter, Jr. 34,964,583 49
John B. Anderson 5,588,014 --
1984 Ronald Reagan 53,428,357 525
Walter F. Mondale 36,930,923 13

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)

Supreme Court Appointments:

Chief Justice
William H. Rehnquist (1986-2005)
Associate Justice
Sandra Day O'Connor (1981-2006)
Antonin Scalia (1986- )
Anthony M. Kennedy (1988- )

Notable Events:

  • 1981
    • On March 30, Reagan was 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 American Presidents: Life Portraits -- C-SPAN
Biographical information, trivia, key events, video, and other reference materials. Website created to accompany C-SPAN's 20th Anniversary Television Series, American Presidents: Life Portraits.
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)
A Time for Choosing ("The Speech") (1964)
President Reagan's Speech to the House of Commons (Evil Empire Speech) (1982)
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)
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)

Media Resources:

From his first State of the Union address on January 26, 1982. (0:56)
MP3 (445K)
From the Vincent Voice Library at Michigan State University.
Audio & Video
The American Presidency Projects's Presidential Audio/Video Archive for Ronald Reagan site

Other Internet Resources:

Ronald Reagan Filmology-- from the Internet Movie Database
List of Reagan screen credits including 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 Day Reagan Was Shot
Transcripts from the White House Situation Room after Reagan was shot.

Points of Interest:

  • Reagan was the fifth left-handed president of the United States.
  • At 69 years old, Reagan was the oldest elected president.
  • At 93 years old, tiny U.S. flag Gerald R. Ford and Ronald W. Reagan lived longer than any other U.S. President. Ford lived longer than Reagan did. Note: these figures came from entering each president's birth and death dates into the "Date Duration" tool found on timeanddate.com (http://www.timeanddate.com/date/duration.html.)
  • In the 1980 election, Reagan won in 46 out of 50 states. The only states he did not win in were Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, or West Virginia. He also did not win the District of Columbia.
  • In the 1984 election, Reagan won in 49 out of 50 states. The only state he did not win in was Minnesota, and he lost by a very small margin there. He also did not win the District of Columbia.

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