Ronald Reagan was born 110 years ago
By: Linda Davis
110 years ago, on February 6, 1911, Ronald Reagan, the future 40th President of the United States, was born into the family of a small merchant of Irish descent and a theater lover. He trained as an economist and sociologist, at the dawn of his career he worked as a sports commentator on radio, and at the age of 26 he became a film actor in Hollywood. Over 30 years of acting, he starred in 54 feature films - however, mostly it was second-class cinema. During World War II, Reagan served in the US Air Force, where he voiced military training films.
After the war, the actor took up politics seriously. His views changed as the events taking place in the world from liberal to conservative. In 1964, Reagan moved from the Democratic to the Republican Party, where he joined the so-called «hawks». In the 1960s and 1970s, he twice ran for the Republican presidential candidacy, but did not succeed. Reagan succeeded in taking the post of head of state on his third attempt: on November 4, 1980, he defeated Democrat Jimmy Carter. Subsequently, he was re-elected for a second term and ruled the country until January 20, 1989.
Reagan came out with a program to restore US military superiority and build up the country's economic might. At the first stage of his reign, he contributed to the intensification of the arms race and its spread into space. In 1983 he called the USSR an «evil empire». Later he took part in negotiations with the General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee Mikhail Gorbachev. In December 1987, Reagan signed an agreement between the USSR and the United States on the elimination of medium and short-range missiles, and in 1988 he paid an official visit to the Soviet Union.
In the last years of his life, Reagan suffered from Alzheimer's disease. One of the most popular American presidents in history passed away on June 5, 2004.