Ronald Wilson Reagan was an American actor and politician.
He was the 40th President of the United States, and served as the 33rd Governor of California before his presidency.
Born and raised in small towns in Illinois, Reagan graduated from Eureka College and then worked as a radio broadcaster.
He moved to Hollywood in 1937, where he began a career as an actor, first in films and later in television.
Reagan served as President of the Screen Actors Guild and later as a spokesman for General Electric; his start in politics occurred during his work for G.E.
Originally, he was a member of the Democratic Party, but due to the parties' shifting platforms during the 1950s, he switched to the Republican Party in 1962.
After delivering a speech in support of Barry Goldwater's presidential candidacy in 1964, he was persuaded to seek the California governorship, winning two years later and again in 1970.
He was defeated in his run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968 and in 1976, but won both the nomination and general election in 1980, defeating incumbent Jimmy Carter.
As president, Reagan implemented sweeping new political and economic initiatives.