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Short Biography of Ronald Reagan

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Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911-2004) was an American Republican politician, governor of California (1966-1974), president (1981-1989) and a former Hollywood actor, Reagan was a hawkish and popular president.

He introduced deregulation of domestic markets and withstood criticism of his interventionist foreign policy, but failed to confront a mounting trade deficit. He was succeeded by George Bush.

He unsuccessfully contested the Republican presidential nomination in 1968 and in 1976, and defeated Jimmy Carter in the 1980 election, and Mondale in 1984. He adopted an aggressive policy in Central America, attempting to overthrow the government of Nicaragua, and invading Grenada following a coup there in 1983.

In 1987, the Irangate scandal was investigated by the Tower Commission; Reagan regretted that US/Iran negotiations had become an "arms for hostages deal", but denied knowledge of resultant funds being illegally sent to the Contras in Nicaragua. He increased spending on defence (increasing the national budget deficit to record levels), cut social programs, introduced deregulation of domestic markets, and cut taxes. His Strategic Defense Initiative, announced in 1983, has proved controversial due to cost and alleged infeasibility.

Reagan was born in Tampico, Illinois, the son of a shoe salesman who was bankrupted during the Depression. He became a Hollywood actor in 1937 and appeared in 50 films, including Bedtime for Bonzo in 1951 and The Killers in 1964.

As president of the Screen Actors' Guild 1947-1952, he became a conservative, critical of the bureaucratic stifling of free enterprise, and named names before the House Un-American Activities Committee.

He joined the Republican Party in 1962, and his term as governor of California 1966-1974 was marked by battles against students. Having lost the Republican presidential nomination in 1968 and in 1976 to Nixon and Ford respectively, Reagan won it 1980 and defeated President Carter. He was wounded in an assassination attempt in 1981.

The invasion of Grenada generated a revival of national patriotism, and Reagan was re-elected by a landslide in 1984. His insistence on militarizing space through the Strategic Defense Initiative, popularly called Star Wars, prevented a disarmament agreement when he met the Soviet leader Gorbachev in 1985 and in 1986, but a 4% reduction in nuclear weapons was agreed in 1987.

In 1986, he ordered the bornbing of Tripoli, Libya, in retaliation for the killing of a US serviceman in Berlin.

Tags: politician, actor, hollywood, governor, landslide, serviceman, conservative

Category: Others  - ( Others Archive)

Date Added: 01 June '12

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