“America represents something universal in the human spirit. I received a letter not long ago from a man who said, ‘You can go to Japan to live, but you cannot become Japanese. You can go to France to live and not become a Frenchman. You can go to live in Germany or Turkey, and you won’t become a German or a Turk.’ But then he added, ‘Anybody from any corner of the world can come to America to live and become an American.'” – Campaign rally for Vice President Bush (1988) Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was an actor-turned-politician who served as the 40th President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. Reagan is one of five Presidents since 1900 to unseat an incumbent – he successfully ended Jimmy Carter’s Presidency before Carter could serve two terms. Reagan went on to be a powerful Republican President setting tax policies (associated with supply-side economics and trickle-down economics) in motion that earned their own name: Reaganomics. Though his legacy is riddled with economic debate, he left office as one of the Presidents with highest public approval ratings.
Reagan was born in Illinois, and relocated to California as an adult. He worked as a sports announcer on the radio in Illinois, then as an actor in California. He was elected as the President of the Screen Actors Guild – the labor union for actors – two times in the 40’s and 50’s. He was a secret FBI informant in Hollywood, notifying the FBI of communist sympathizers. As a supporter of Barry Goldwater in the 1964 elections, Reagan gained national attention for his “A Time for Choosing” speech on October 27, 1964, when it was part of a pre-recorded television program, Rendezvous with Destiny. His successful run for Governor of California came soon after, and then he moved upward to the White House for two terms.