Fast Facts: Ronald Reagan
Of all the presidents the United States had during the 20th Century, Ronald Wilson Reagan had one of the most diverse backgrounds. Following is a collection of tidbits about Reagan.
— As a child, Reagan narrowly escaped death while playing under a train that suddenly began moving.
— At Dixon High School, Reagan played football, basketball, ran track, served as school president, wrote for the yearbook and starred in school plays.
— He led a successful student strike against curriculum cutbacks during his freshman year of college.
— Reagan made over 50 films between 1937 and 1961.
— When Reagan left the California governor's office, the state budget showed a $550 million surplus.
— After completing his second term as governor of California in 1975, Reagan lectured, wrote a syndicated column and began a radio commentary program.
— He was the oldest man elected president.
— He was the first Hollywood actor to be elected president.
— He was the first president to have a daughter pose for Playboy magazine.
— He was the first president to have been divorced.
— As a result of his many television appearances he became known as the Great Communicator.
— He appointed the first woman to the Supreme Court, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
— He was the eighth president to be the victim of an assassination attempt — and was the only president to survive a wound.
— He sent United States soldiers into Grenada and commanded soldiers out of Lebanon.
— When he was reelected president in 1984, he carried 49 states.
— Rancho del Cielo was Reagan's favorite getaway. He designated it his "Western White House" and spent a total of 345 days at the ranch.
— Reagan was 77 years and 349 days old when he left office on Jan. 20, 1989.