RONALD REAGAN COFFEE MUG
Ronald Wilson Reagan (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was the 40th President of the United States (1981–1989) and the 33rd Governor of California (1967–1975). Born in Illinois, Reagan moved to Los Angeles, California in the 1930s, where he was an actor, president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and a spokesman for General Electric (GE). His start in politics occurred during his work for GE; originally a member of the Democratic Party, he switched to the Republican Party in 1962. After delivering a rousing speech in support of Barry Goldwater's presidential candidacy in 1964, he was persuaded to seek the California governorship, winning two years later and again in 1970. He was defeated in his run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968 as well as 1976, but won both the nomination and election in 1980. As president, Reagan implemented new political initiatives as well as economic policies, advocating a limited government and economic laissez-faire philosophy, but the extent to which the implementation of these ideas was successful is debated. The supply side economic policies, dubbed "Reaganomics", included substantial tax cuts implemented in 1981. After surviving an assassination attempt and ordering military actions in Grenada, he was re-elected in a landslide victory in 1984. Reagan's second term was marked by the ending of the Cold War, as well as the revelation of the Iran-Contra affair. The president ordered a massive military buildup in an arms race with the Soviet Union, forgoing the previous strategy of détente. He publicly portrayed the USSR as an "evil empire" and supported anti-Communist movements worldwide. Despite his rejection of détente, he negotiated with Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to shrink both countries' nuclear arsenals. Reagan left office in 1989; in 1994 the former president disclosed that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. He died ten years later at the age of ninety-three, and ranks highly among former U.S. presidents in terms of approval rating.