Published December 23, 2015
In honor of the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's birth, Life magazine has issued a special commemorative edition called "Ronald Reagan at 100."
The editors at Life have collected 150 photographs spanning Reagan's life and the aftermath of his death, released in time for the centennial celebration of the late president's Feb. 6 birthday.
The six-section edition introduces readers to the personal qualities that made Reagan larger than life throughout his acting career, on the campaign trail, during his presidency and beyond.
But the Life spread, with a forward by Time columnist Joe Klein, isn't all about the glossy side of Reagan as small-town Midwestern boy, Hollywood actor, Screen Actors Guild president, governor of California and president of the United States. Life also delves into his trials as a Depression-era son of an alcoholic father, B-film attraction and "engrossing, if shallow, orator" that critics declared him to be.
"The charismatic leader of the 'Reagan Revolution,' his years in the Oval Office were spent reducing long-term government planning, restoring prosperity to the American economy, and openly assaulting communism abroad. Yet the sunny, defiant, capable, red-white-and-blue enshrouded image of Reagan in the media told little about the wounded son, devoted husband, aloof father and compassionate public servant who lived behind closed doors," reads a statement from Life.
Declaring Reagan the "mythic embodiment of all that was best about America, at a time when Americans perhaps needed it most," the collector's edition is on sale Tuesday.