Ronald Reagan 1911-2004
Stephen Young puts the career of the 40th American President into historical perspective.
From humble origins to White House
Ronald Wilson Reagan was born in Illinois in 1911 to a doting mother and alcoholic father. He was active in sports, student politics and amateur dramatics before carving a niche for himself as a sports broadcaster, commentating on baseball games from a radio studio but making listeners believe he was actually there as he enthusiastically embellished wire service reports. By 1937 he was in Hollywood gaining a reputation as a dependable B-movie actor with Warner Brothers. Reagan was no Henry Fonda but still amassed over 50 film appearances as he refined the skills that would serve him so well on a different stage.