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Introduction Reagan Ronald Wilson 1911- the 40th president of the United States 1981-1989 enforced the policies that reversed a general direction of movement toward greater government involvement in economic and social regulation Reagan as the younger of two sons was born in Tampico Illinois and spent most of his childhood in Dixon Illinois After studying at Eureka Collegea small Disciples of Christ college near Peoria Illinois he majored in economics and became the president of the student body a member of the football team and captain of the swimming team He had special drawings toward acting but after the graduation in 1932 the only job available related to show business was as a local radio sportscaster In 1936 he became a sportscaster for station WHO in Des Moines Iowa A year latter Reagan went to Hollywood and began an acting career that spanned more than 25 years He played in more than 50 films including Knute Rockne-All American 1940 Kings Row 1942 and Bedtime for Bonzo 1951 Early political career Reagans first political activities were associated with his responsibilities as a union leader As union president Reagan tried to remove suspected Communists from the movie industry When the US House Committee Began an investigation in 1947 on the influence of Communists in the film industry Reagan took a strong anti-Communist stand testifying before the committee Reagan emerged on the national political scene in 1964 when he made fervent television speech supports for the Republican presidential candidate United States Senator Barry Goldwater from Arizona Although the election was lost Reagans speech brought in money and admiration from Republicans around the country After the speech a group of Republicans in California persuaded Reagan to run for governor of California in 1966 Reagan appealed to traditional Republican voters He defeated Edmund G Pat Brown Sr Democrat by almost a million votes The election of 1980 Reagan spent years making political friends at party fund-raising dinners
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