Hello, my name's David Wilson. I'm an historian and a teacher of U.S. and World History, here today for About.com. Today we're going to be taking a look at a profile of Ronald Reagan, the United States' 40th President.Ronald Wilson Reagan was born on February 6th, 1911 in Tampico, Illinois. His family lived in an apartment in a very small town, which lacked indoor plumbing and running water. Ronald Reagan went on to graduate from college in Illinois and took a job covering sports for a local radio station.In 1937, Warner Brothers signed him to a contract after seeing his screen test. Over the next 30 years he was in more than 50 movies. Perhaps most notable was his role as Notre Dame football star, George Gipp, in Knute Rockne: All American. Reagan's famous line was: “Win one for the Gipper,” which he would be known for for the rest of his life.In the early 1960s, Reagan became a Republican after being a Democrat in his early years. In 1964, Reagan gave a televised speech for Republican Presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, which thrust him into the national spotlight. Reagan defeated Democratic incumbent Pat Brown, Sr. to win the Governorship of California.In 1980, Reagan and running mate, George H.W. Bush, received the Republican nomination, and campaigned against President Jimmy Carter, and Vice President Walter Mondale. Reagan won the election and captured almost 51 percent of the popular vote. At age 69, he held the distinction of being the oldest elected U.S. President.He implemented the Reagan Doctrine to support forces around the world who were resisting Communism in places like Grenada, El Salvador, and Afghanistan. Domestically, President Reagan implemented policies designed to reduce taxes, intending to spur economic growth; this policy was referred to as “Reaganomics.”On March 30, 1981, Reagan survived an assassination attempt by John Hinkley, Jr. Again, in 1981, Reagan made history by appointing the first woman to the Supreme Court. In November 1984, Ronald Reagan was re-elected in a landslide victory over Walter Mondale and his running mate, who was the first female Vice Presidential candidate from a major U.S. political party. Reagan, who announced it was “Morning again in America,” carried 49 out of 50 states in the election and received 525 out of 538 electoral votes.Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev developed a diplomatic relationship, and in 1987, the Americans and Soviets signed an agreement to eliminate intermediate-range nuclear missiles. President Ronald Reagan was one of the United States most popular presidents. He helped usher America through the end of the Cold War and national tragedies, and his unlikely rise from a small-town boy, to Hollywood actor, to the President of the Unites States was a journey never before seen.Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web at about.com.
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