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Mr. President

Ronald Reagan
Fortieth President, 1981–1989

“We're entering our third century now, but it's wrong to judge our nation by its years. The calendar can't measure America because we were meant to be an endless experiment in freedom, with no limits to our reaches, no boundaries to what we can do, no end point to our hopes.”

Rough Road:
Ronald Reagan began his second term triumphantly; his 525 votes in the electoral college set the record for the largest landslide victory in history. Though he was criticized for problems such as an ever-increasing national debt and the illegal selling of arms to Nicaragua, prosperity soared during his terms. The Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union eased as Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed a series of arms reduction treaties. Reagan also nominated the first woman to the Supreme Court. When he left the White House in 1989, he commanded a popularity that few other outgoing presidents have enjoyed.

Portrait by Henry C. Casselli, Jr. , 1989 . NPG.90.79 , Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, © Henry C. Casselli, Jr .

Fast Facts
Party: Republican
Date of Birth: Monday, February 6, 1911
Date of Death: Saturday, June 5, 2004
Vice President: George H. W. Bush
First Lady: Nancy Davis Reagan

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