July 5, 2022
Ronald Reagan /ˈɹɑnəld ˈɹeɪɡən/ (February 6, 1911 in Tampico, Illinois – June 5, 2004 in Los Angeles) was an American actor and statesman. He was the 40th President of the United States, in office from January 20, 1981 to January 20, 1989. Raised in Dixon, Illinois, Ronald Reagan studied at Eureka College, where he graduated with a degree in economics and sociology. He then moved to Iowa to work as a radio host, then to Los Angeles, where he began an acting career in film and then on television. Knute Rockne, All American (1940), Crimes Without Punishment (1942) and Bedtime for Bonzo (1951) are among his most notable films. President of the Screen Actors Guild before becoming spokesperson for General Electric, he entered politics. Initially a member of the Democratic Party, he moved to the right at the end of the 1950s and joined the Republican Party in 1962. After an enthusiastic speech in favor of Barry Goldwater in view of the presidential election of 1964, he presented himself as Governor of California, being elected in 1966 and re-elected in 1970. He tried in vain to obtain the Republican nomination for the presidential elections of 1968 against Richard Nixon, then of 1976 against Gerald Ford. He was finally appointed in 1980 and won the election against the outgoing president, Democrat Jimmy Carter. As head of state, Ronald Reagan instituted a supply-side policy (nicknamed Reaganomics), which was essentially based on currency controls, aimed at reducing inflation, as well as a reduction in federal spending. unrelated to defence. At the beginning of his mandate, he was injured during an assassination attempt, suffered the American crisis of 1982, adopted a hard line against the unions, ordered the invasion of Grenada, faced the attacks in Beirut on October 23 1983 and must respond to the downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 by a Soviet fighter. He was re-elected by an overwhelming majority in 1984, winning 49 of 50 states. His second term was mainly marked by foreign affairs, notably with the end of the Cold War, the bombing of Libya in 1986 and the revelation of the Iran-Contra affair. Publicly describing the Soviet Union as an "Evil Empire", he supported anti-Communist movements around the world and renounced the policy of détente by massively increasing military spending and relaunching an arms race with the USSR. He nevertheless negotiated with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to reduce nuclear arsenals through the INF Treaty. Domestically, in 1986, he offered amnesty to nearly three million illegal immigrants and made emergency treatment of all patients compulsory by hospitals receiving aid under Medicare. After the 1988 presidential election, which was won by his vice-president, George H. W. Bush, Ronald Reagan retired from public life. He revealed in 1994 that he had Alzheimer's disease and died in 2004 at the age of 93. Credited with the ideological renaissance of the American right, he notably gives his name to Ronald-Reagan National Airport, near Washington, D.C., and to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.