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Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911–2004) served as governor of California and the fortieth president of the United States. Reagan has remained a conservative icon who supported neoliberal economics and political optimism. In popular culture, he is often recalled as a stereotypical western individualist who wore jeans and a cowboy hat and rode horses on his California ranch.
Reagan was born in 1911 in Tampico, Illinois, and graduated from Eureka College. Prior to his political career, he acted in fifty-one films and served as Screen Actors Guild president. Reagan was a Democrat until 1962, when he joined the Republican Party. His political career took off following a speech he gave for Barry Goldwater's 1964 presidential campaign. That speech established him as a national figure for conservative Republicans.
Reagan was ...