Ronald Wilson Reagan, 1911 - 2004
Official presidential portrait
Born: 6 February 1911, Tampico, Illinois
Died: 5 June 2004, Bel Air, Los Angeles, California
Reagan's family lived in several Illinois towns during his youth, and he attended Eureka Collage at Eureka, Illinois. He drove to Iowa and auditioned at several small-town radio stations before developing his skill as a sportscaster. While traveling with the Chicago Cubs in 1937 he took a screen test at Warner Brothers who signed him to a seven year contract. Reagan enlisted in the Army Reserves and was called to active duty but because of his eyesight was assigned to Army Air Force public relations where his unit produced some 400 films. He served as an officer, then president for seven years, of the Screen Actors Guild. He worked for GE as a television host, public spokesperson, and motivational speaker. He came to national political prominence with his speeches on behalf of Barry Goldwater's presidential campaign in 1964. He served two terms (1967-1975) as governor of California before his first presidential bid in 1976 in which he narrowly lost the Republican nomination to Gerald Ford. He defeated Jimmy Carter in 1980 and was reelected in 1984. Five years after he left office he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
Based on an early motion picture role he was called "The Gipper." Based on his easy resonance with audiences he was sometimes called "The Great Communicator." I never voted for him, but his successors often made me miss him. And he definitely was quotable.
Additional quotes from Wikiquote. Wikiquote entries are "sourced" and may include items longer than those included here, particularly for poets, lyricists, and dramatists.
Ronald Wilson Reagan quotes:
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- A troubled and afflicted mankind looks to us, pleading for us to keep our rendezvous with destiny; that we will uphold the principles of self-reliance, self-discipline, morality, and, above all, responsible liberty for every individual that we will become that shining city on a hill. permalink
- Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have. permalink
- Abraham Lincoln freed the black man. In many ways, Dr. King freed the white man. How did he accomplish this tremendous feat? Where others - white and black - preached hatred, he taught the principles of love and nonviolence. permalink
- America has never gotten in a war because we were too strong. permalink
presidential debate (28 October 1980)
- America's view of apartheid is simple and straightforward: We believe it is wrong. We condemn it. And we are united in hoping for the day when apartheid will be no more. permalink
- Anyone that's ever had their kitchen done over knows that it never gets done as soon as you wish it would. permalink
- Damn it, Pierre, what do you want me to do? We'll go sit with empty chairs to get those guys back to the table. (To Pierre Trudeau, prime minister of Canada) permalink
- Democracy is not a fragile flower; still it needs cultivating. permalink
- Directly down the lawn and accross the Ellipse from the White House are those ordered, classic lines of the Jefferson Memorial and the eyes of the 19-foot statue that gaze directly into the White House, a reminder to any of us who might occupy that mansion of the quality of mind and generosity of heart that once abided there and has been so rarely seen there again. permalink
speech at the University of Virginia (December 1988)
- Double - no triple - our troubles, and we'd still be better off than any other people on earth. permalink
- Even Albert Einstein reportedly needed help on his 1040 form. permalink
- Every new day begins with possibilities. permalink
- Every year, an average of 9,200 Americans are murdered by handguns. ... This level of violence must be stopped. permalink
"Why I'm for the Brady Bill" op-ed in The New York Times (29 March 1991)
- Freedom and the dignity of the individual have been more available and assured here than in any other place on earth. The price for this freedom at times has been high, but we have never been unwilling to pay the price. permalink
- Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. permalink
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