Ronald Reagan an Example of American Excellence
Ronald Reagan, the actor who took his talents to the white house, played the role of a life time. His life represents once again that anything is possible in America.
Beginning February 6, 1911 in the farm areas of Illinois Reagan dealt with adversity from the start (history.com staff). Dealing with the demons of his father’s alcoholism, and constant moving around Reagan was thrust into a world of chaos from birth (Morris 17). Instead of giving in to his chaotic surroundings he took salvation in Christ (Robbins 4). It was through his strong believe in Christ that even after college he remained good natured.
Overall Reagan is an outstanding example of American excellence whose early career, governorship, presidency, and legacy will always be remembered. After leaving Eureka College in 1932, Reagan set off into the real world (history.com staff). Starting off with a job as a radio sports announcer, Reagan displayed a gift for charming the people with his great ability to speak (Robbins 58). As a result, he began to thrive in his new position. Everything about him was perfectly suited for the job.
But of course Mr. Reagan didn’t remain a sports announcer, his skills and aspirations were too high. By 1937 Reagan began inching into the film industry making his first film titled “Love is on the Air,” this would be the first of many films Reagan went on to act in (history.com staff). As his stardom began to rise so would Reagan’s natural talents of charisma, speaking, and leading.
His drive soon lead him to even challenge some the bosses in his studio at Warner Brothers; this rebuttal stemmed from the unfairness and sometimes abusive nature of some of the big bosses at the studio (Reagan 90). As a result of his challenge he was appointed to the Screen Actors Guild’s board of directors: this would be his first major leadership position (Reagan 90). This was not the only change in his life though; in 1940 he went on to marry Jane Wyman who was a fellow actor (Robbins 20). Now married, Reagan’s stardom soared to new heights with new releases like International Squadron, and Kings Row (Morris 189).His bid as a movie star would be interrupted by war however.
In 1941 World War 2 had taken his beloved nation up in arms; serving as a training video actor, Reagan did the best that he could for his country (Morris 187, 189). After the war subsided Reagan’s role grew in the board of directors. His leadership would eventually land him a position as president of the Screen Actors Guild in 1947 (history.com staff). Ambition however would soon lead him to seek new horizons.
With his new role of president now introducing him more and more to politics, Reagan’s thirst for a change in the political world grew. Eventually his beliefs could not be held back any further and in 1964 he gave his now famous televised speech (Robbins 58). This speech displayed all of his talents and even though he wasn’t even campaigning for any position in office in only a few months’ time Reagan would be backed by several millionaires who wanted him to run for Governor of California (Robbins 58). After one simple televised speech Reagan’s life was changed forever. Now financially secure only one thing remained uncertain; should he campaign for Governor? This question played over and over again until it was soon answered through the support of people, and the support of his new wife Nancy (Reagan 148).
When Reagan decided to give running for Governor a shot he was met with the normal standard that usually accompanied anything he did, success. His win in 1967 marked another new beginning in his life (Morris 348).From the moment he stepped into office Reagan wanted to make a change for the better. He was fighting an uphill battle though as California had been recently rocked in a way that hadn’t occurred in a while. Riots had swept over Los Angles during Watts riots and the city was still in recovery two years later (Cannon 300).
Reagan seeing this as his chance for his first real act as Governor decided to take action. He made restoring Los Angles a top priority and succeeded in a way that made Los Angles not only recover but thrive (Morris 352).Through incredibly difficult efforts such as: balancing California’s economy, terminating radical political parties, and bringing structure back to the Los Angeles area; Reagan proved himself once again worthy (Cannon 330). His success lead him to even try a bid at presidency in 1968, but this time Reagan didn’t win and had to settle for another term as governor (Cannon 334).Although being the governor of California wasn’t a bad job to fall back on in, Reagan’s eyes he had a new challenge to overcome, becoming president of the United States.
After serving his final term as Governor, Reagan’s determination would lead him to move on to bigger things in his political career. Reagan ran for office again in 1976 but it wasn’t until 1980 that he was finally elected as president of the United States of America (history.com staff). He had finally achieved the goal he had formed all those years ago. Now it was his time to prove himself once again. But just as quickly as he became president it was almost all taken away from him.
In 1981, just months after he was sworn into office, Reagan’s life was on the line (history.com staff). On March 30th 1981, he had been the subject of an attempted assassination (history.com staff).Mr. Reagan was one tough cookie though and didn’t roll over from the gunshot wound, instead he and his public relations crew ushered in a new era when it came to televised presidency (Robbins 62).
Reagan’s public relations team filmed him walking just days after the attempt; it was through the genius idea of filming everything that wasn’t bad that Reagan brushed off an assassination attempt so easily (Morris 432). In contrast to his public image as a super human in real life it took months for Reagan to fully recover and return to office (Reagan 400). When he did return to office one of the first goals he had was to fix America’s economy (Morris 460). He introduced a new thing called Reaganomics; this brainchild of Reagan cut back taxes on the rich, lowered the bar for government spending, and allowed for new jobs to be created (Reeves 119 120 121). Although met with distaste, Reaganomics succeeded in getting America out of a recession and boosting the economy to new heights (Reeves 122 123). During his tenure in the office as president Reagan also had to deal with the pressures of the cold war (history.com staff). He increased the United States of America’s military, and weapons predominantly due to this war (Reagan 500). All of this however, was just for precaution as by the time Reagan’s final term of presidency ended the Cold War was settling into a distant memory (Reagan 500). At the time of Reagan’s death from pneumonia in 2004 he had changed the way politics worked, left behind three living children, and had sealed his spot as the most successful actor of all time (Reeves 500). Reagan’s politics emphasized television more so than any other president before him (Robbins 95).
He used it to his advantage by staging speeches and appearances where he knew that he had support (Robbins 96). This resulted in people loving him even more than what they should have at the time (Robbins 95). Reagan’s three children Patti, Ronald, and Michael still are alive and well today (Reeves 505). Reagan’s achievements as a parent are reflected through them as each of them grew into outstanding citizens (Reeves 508). Achievement had been a key factor which played out in Reagan’s life, and all of this achievement has led to one major fact, he is the most successful actor of all time. After holding the presidency spot in the Screen Actors Guild for six years, Reagan went on to become Governor of California and president of the U.
S (history.com staff). He starred in 50 movies and when it comes to having success while being or having acted no one can come close to the accomplishments that Reagan produced. Mr. Reagan is a perfect example of greatness.
He started from the bottom, coming from his chaotic youth in the farm areas of Illinois, and made it to the oval office. He will forever have his early pursuits, governorship, presidency, and legacy remembered. Never before has there been anyone like him. Mr. Reagan’s excellence allowed him to go into the history books and as a result he will not be forgotten. Works Cited Cannon, Lou.
Governor Reagan: His Rise to Power. New York: PublicAffairs, 2003. Print. History.com Staff.
2009. “Ronald Reagan.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d.
Web. 17 May 2014. Morris, Edmund. Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan. New York: Random House, 1999. Print.
Reagan, Ronald. An American Life. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990. Print. Reeves, Richard. President Reagan: The Triumph of Imagination.
New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005. Print. Robbins, Neal E. Ronald W. Reagan, 40th President of the United States. Ada, OK: Garrett Educational, 1990.