Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States, serving between 1981 and 1989. He was born in 1911 in Illinois. He worked his way through school and studied economics and sociology. After graduating, he became a radio sports announcer. A screen test in 1937 won him a contract in Hollywood. Over the next two decades he appeared in 53 films. He was also president of the Screen Actors Guild.
In 1966, Reagan was elected Governor of California by a margin of a million votes; he was re-elected in 1970. He campaigned with the message of sending "the welfare bums back to work" and spoke out against the idea of the welfare state. He was also in favor of less government regulation and lower taxes. He lost the 1976 election to become Republican presidential nominee to President Gerald Ford.
Ronald Reagan won the Republican Presidential nomination in 1980. Just 69 days later he was shot by a would-be assassin, but quickly recovered and returned to duty. He passed legislation to stimulate economic growth, curb inflation, increase employment, and strengthen national defense. A renewal of national self-confidence by 1984 helped Reagan and Vice President George H. Bush win a second term.
Reagan’s conservative economic policy was known as ‘Reaganomics’. At the end of his administration, America was enjoying its longest recorded period of peacetime prosperity without recession or depression. In foreign policy, Reagan sought to achieve "peace through strength" with the Soviet Union and declared war against international terrorism. He died in 2004 aged 93.