One Great Man of America: Descriptive Essay on Ronald Reagan's Life

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There are many great men in history such as Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, etcetera, but what makes them “great”? Could it be the grit to move forward, the ability of perseverance that keeps them going? Maybe, integrity of spirit and mind that defines themselves as a special person? Is passion the drive that continues to give man the will of action to make small things grand. All these qualities and more are involved in the construction of such men. One man improticular named Ronald Wilson Reagan forced himself to continue growing which helped intune him into a great man. His life started out very simple but he had an american dream which drove him to grow. Forging his own path forward which made him one of the most influential people in the world. This influential power helped to manufacture the world around us today. Whether bad or good the impact that Ronald Reagan had won't be forgotten. Through his Life, that brought many joy and peace, his acting, which caused many to feel many different emotions (happy, sad, angry). Finally the most important his Presidency where he brought a nation together through his warm simple smile, comforting speeches, and gentle personality.

Tampico, Illinois, February 6, 1911, Ronald Wilson Reagan was born to a small family. His father was John Reagan and his mother was Nellie Reagan. His father when he was younger named him little dutch boy. This was because he resembled a heavy set little dutch blonde boy. He was graduate of Dixon High school in 1928 and then attended Eureka college. During this time he earned a degree in economics and sociology graduating in 1932. Afterwards receiving his first job as a baseball announcer in Iowa.

A little bit later Reagan did a screen test for Warner Brothers. Afterwards they hired him with a seven year contract. Not long after he was put into his first movie called “Love is in the Air.” Where he played as a News reporter in the film. His two most famous movies were Knute Rockne all American where he said the famous line, “Win one for the Gipper,” which was used in his campaign slogan. The other movie was Kings Row. In Kings Row he played an amputee who had lost his legs. These movies began to make him more famous but sadly World War 2 struck which hurt his career. He tried to serve but couldn’t because of poor eyesight, so Instead made instruction videos. After the war he only took minor roles. His last movie was “The Killers.” in this film he was finally made a villain because throughout his career Reagan never played a bad guy and desired to try something new. Overall he acted in fifty plus movies. Although the movie career ended he ended up hosting “The General Electric Theater.” Up to this moment he had many democratic viewpoints which eventually switched while he was on the show. Traveling around the country speaking about wasteful government spending, influenced him into eventually switching political parties from democrat to republican. Because he felt that his opinions could prosper in that party.

During this time Reagan had been in a relationship with Jane Wyman. He married her in 1940 and they had a kid. Sadly the marriage didn’t work out and they divorced in 1948. Leaving Reagan uncomfortable with the thought of marrying again. Even when he met Nancy Davis, in Hellcats he wasn’t sure if wanted to be in a relationship after Wyman. Eventually deciding to give it a try caused them to be inseparable, two kindred spirits. They married in 1952 having two kids their daughter Patricia Ann and son Ronald. Happily married until the day of his death.

Before being president Reagan had a short political career. This included being elected governor of California twice. While Reagan was governor he was still a democrat and allowed abortion. This is what he regretted allowing the most in his entire career. Later on reagan supported Goldwater in the presidential election of 1964. Then he supported himself in the`1980 election against Jimmy Carter, who was a Peanut farmer. He and his Vice President HW Bush won.

He was the 40th president of the United States as well as the oldest president ever. He and Nancy redecorated the White House making it more comfortable and updated. Not long after being elected they was an assassination attempt on Reagan's life. John Hinckley Jr. shot him narrowly missing his heart piercing one of his lungs. Afterwards he told Nancy with his warm hearted humor that “He forgot to duck.” John Hinckley Jr. was then arrested. Shortly after the incident he instantly started working with an embargo on the Soviet Union. Next he added Sandra Day, O’connor as the first women to the supreme court. Continuing his work he signed The Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which was passed to increase the federal revenue. Later on he visited two hundred German, gravesite wreath ceremony. This honored the men even some who were nazis. Many were aggravated after this but he gave a speech which smoved things over. While he was President the country hadn’t had such a strong economy in years. He accomplished this through his economic scheme known as Reaganomics. This was a different idea of how to handle economics because it involved lowering taxes versus increasing them. He also signed the Gramm-Rudman Reduction bill which controlled federal spending. One thing he signed which caused much controversy was the law that prohibited abortion.

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Sadly everybody makes mistakes and Ronald Reagan could as well. Despite all the great things he accomplished Reagan unfortunately created the Iran Contra affair. This was where the United States sold Illegal arms to Iran. They made a profit of ten million and thirty million dollars. An entire investigation occured throwing the White House into a little chaos. Ronald Reagan ended up taking full responsibility with a speech apologizing for all the actions he took. Eventually he gave his farewell address and his former vice president HW Bush became the 41st president.

Although Ronald Reagan is remembered for his firm hand in economics. The most famous part of his presidency was his handle of the Communism and the Cold War. The Cold war wasn’t fought with weapons but was more of a competition between two countries. The United States and the USSR. Each country trying to spread what they thought was the perfect political government. Ronald Reagan is remembered for being one of the reasons communism fell. In June 1982 he gave a speech on freedom from Marxist-Leninism. Reagan called them the “Evil Empire which scared many people. He challenged the leader Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin wall. Then Reagan and Gorbachev dismantled of nuclear weapons, because for years each country was scared that the other would bomb them. Just in case Reagan dreamt up the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) which was a satellite that would protect from nuclear attacks. He also met with Gorbachev several times which helped in turn to bringing the Soviets down.

After being President Ronald Reagan wrote his own autobiography, “An American Life.” He also started constructing his own memorabilia/library supervising it himself. Although he wasn’t president anymore Reagan still traveled speaking around the country. He had to arrive at a case discussing the Iran Contra affair but he was quoted on saying he couldn’t remembered. After feeling embarrassed he visited a doctor and discovered that he unfortunately had alzheimer's. He gave his final speech saying that it was a “Sunset on his life.” Afterwards he disappeared from public life. He passed away several years later in 2004. Sceptics say that his economic policy may have seemed fine while in action actually caused America to become more in debt. Others say he wasn’t great because people are angered on how he handled women, drugs, and aids. Many like to say since Reagan was an actor he was just a puppet president. Which is somebody who is just a face rather than the one making the decisions. Despite this he will be remembered for fighting big Government, and always having a Charismatic and charming personality.

One thing that many take for granted was his fear of God. He was a religious man who prayed throughout his political career and believed America needed the Bible. Many times he was quoted saying “I am accused of being simplistic at times, but within that single Book are all the answers to all the problems that face us.” Another thing Reagan believed was wisdom was from God, saying “When we open ourselves to Him, we gain not only moral courage but intellectual strength.” Prayer was so influential in the Presidents life. During his campaign he brought up a couple of times that somebody who didn’t pray and had the “awesome responsibilities” of president would be “absurd.” Like President Eisenhower, Reagan prayed before each cabinet meeting. He also gave a speech in February 1983 where Reagan spoke about prayer saying “I know at times we feel that perhaps in our prayers we ask too much. Or possibly we feel something isn't important enough to be bothering God with it, maybe we should let Him decide these things.” Using the power of prayer Reagan would call families who had lost loved ones that were marines. Asking if they “Should say a little prayer.” Prayer and God definitely had an influence on Reagan.

Ronald Wilson Reagan accomplished many different things in his life. Through all of it growing and maturing into the president that he became. His acting career in Kings row and Knute Rockne All American plus all his other films. Through his different family problems. Such as his divorce which forced him to grow and learn about how to have a healthy relationship. His kids and America taught him how to be a father. His experience as Governor of California helped shaped many aspects of his life. From his mistakes to the victories he reached. Just looking at his life he started small a nobody from Tampico Illinois to the most important man in the country. All it took was a little faith and the will to keep moving.

Was Ronald Reagan great? Did he have passion the fire the will to move forward and persevere to make things happen? Integrity and grit inside him to be a man who was grand. Did he throw himself at everything he accomplished? Reagan took life and attacked from the beginning till the end (alzheimer's). In his life he had acted in over fifty movies and been president of the United States. He had grit to move himself to a place that wasn’t easy. Reagan did not instantly become President he had perseverance to work his way to reach his goal. The passion and fire of his country inside of him which powered his will to move forward. In addition he also had the power of prayer which helped fuel him. Kept him going through the thick and thin. Whether somebody believes God is real Reagan wouldn’t have been the president he was without Him.

Ronald Reagan will always be remembered as one of the greatest presidents of all time. His actions still affect us today and teach us how to grow. His life is an example of the American dream. Growth and opportunity might only come once so grab it by the horns and continue moving forward like Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan's legacy only grows as people realize how influential he truly was. No matter the age anybody can change the world. Reagan showed this when he became the oldest man ever elected as president at the age of 69 until recently Trump took that record. Despite everything mentioned in this paper Reagan accomplished other things as president such as raising the tax on gas five cents more etc… There was no puppet only a person who was willing to put his country before himself. As the great president JFK said “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” Reagan lived by this putting his country before himself. Through his long life, extensive acting career, and finally his great presidency.

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One Great Man of America: Descriptive Essay on Ronald Reagan’s Life. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 20, 2024, from
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