Ronald Reagan Lesson for Kids: Biography & Facts

Instructor: Anna Reinking

Anni taught elementary school for eight years and is currently teaching college. She received her Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction.

You may know that Ronald Reagan was the 40th President of the United States, but do you know all of the other interesting things he did before he became president? In this lesson, we will look at the life of this well-liked and well-respected man.

Ronald Reagan: The Early Years

Ronald Reagan began his life on February 6, 1911, in Tampico, Illinois. His father, Jack, owned a shoe store and was married to Nellie. In 1928, Reagan graduated from high school in Dixon, Illinois, and then attended Eureka College on an athletic scholarship. While in high school and college, Reagan actively participated in student government, played several sports and acted in plays, which was the beginning of the acting career he would later pursue in Hollywood. He graduated from Eureka College in 1932, with a degree in economics and sociology. His first job out of college was as a radio sports announcer.

Hollywood and Military Careers

In 1937, Ronald Reagan moved to Hollywood and began his acting career. Over the course of his Hollywood career, he appeared in more than 50 films. Also in 1937, Reagan enlisted in the Army Enlisted Reserves. In 1940, he married his first wife, Jane, whom he would divorce in 1949. While he was married to Jane, they had one daughter, Maureen, and adopted a son, Michael.

In 1942, he was called to active military service but was never allowed to be in combat due to his poor eyesight. Instead, his acting skills were put to good use as he was part of the film-making unit and helped to produce over 400 military training films. He served until the end of the war in 1945.

Ronald Reagan the Actor
ronald actor

Upon returning to Hollywood, many other things happened in his life. He signed a million-dollar contract with Warner Bros., and became the president of the Screen Actors Guild. He also met his soon-to-be second wife, Nancy, who was a Hollywood actress. After marrying in 1952, they had two children, Patti and Ronald. Just two years later, he began his life as a politician.

Political Career

When Ronald Reagan first began campaigning, he was a liberal Democrat, but later became a Republican. In 1966, he won his first election and became the Governor of California, where he served for two terms (1967 - 1975). Reagan ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968 and 1976, but was unsuccessful. He did not give up, however, and in 1980, won not only his party's nomination, but also the national elections and became the 40th President of the United States, serving two terms (1981 - 1989).

President Ronald Reagan
president reagan

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