Reagan's 50-Year Pen Pal Remembers Friend

Published June 13, 2004

| FoxNews.com

In the Oval Office, she always referred to him as "Mr. President," but in her letters, it was "Dear Ron."

Philadelphia native Lorraine Wagner (search) first wrote to President Reagan when she was 13 and he was in his 30s. Her request was an autographed picture.

Out of 10 celebrities she wrote to, only then-actor Ronald Reagan (search) wrote back. They were pen pals for the next 50 years.

"It was a very cordial relationship, a relationship that began by simply writing letters ... a relationship he allowed to evolve to a friendship," Wagner said. "That's the extraordinary part of it and the extraordinary character of the man who allowed that."

Wagner sent hundreds of letters and gifts to the actor-turned-governor-turned president. He responded to her more than 200 times, sometimes offering a rare insight into his personal life, although most of the letters centered around their daily lives and families.

Reagan wrote in one letter: "I've been asked to run for governor and while I'm highly honored, I don't think I'm right for the part."

Wagner denies there was anything more than just friendship between the two, although she might have had a teenage crush on the dashing Hollywood star.

Click here to watch a report by Fox News' Todd Connor.

URL

http://www.foxnews.com/story/2004/06/13/reagan-50-year-pen-pal-remembers-friend