Description: Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) Actor, California Governor 1967-75, unsuccessfully sought 1968 & 1976 GOP presidential nominations. US President 1981-89, GOP & conservative icon. When Reagan left office in 1989, his approval rating matched those of FDR and, later, Bill Clinton as the highest ratings for departing presidents in the modern era. He disclosed in Nov. 1994 that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease earlier that year and died June 5, 2004. He is viewed favorably in historical rankings of US presidents, and his tenure saw a US realignment toward conservative policies.
After graduating from Eureka College in 1932, Reagan worked as a radio announcer at several stations. He moved to WHO radio in Des Moines, Iowa as an announcer for the Chicago Cubs, creating play-by-play accounts of games using only basic descriptions received by wire as the games were in progress. While with the Cubs in California in 1937, he took a screen test that led to a 7-year Warner Bros. contract. He spent his first few years in the “B film unit” and earned his 1st screen credit starring in “Love Is on the Air” (1937). By the end of 1939, he had been in 19 films, inc. “Dark Victory” with Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart. Before the 1940 film “Santa Fe Trail” with Errol Flynn, he played George Gipp in “Knute Rockne, All American” and acquired the lifelong nickname “the Gipper”. In 1941, exhibitors voted him the 5th most popular Hollywood younger generation star. His favorite role was in 1942’s “Kings Row” where he played a double amputee who says “Where’s the rest of me?”, later the title of his 1965 autobiography. “Kings Row” made him a star; Warner tripled his salary to $3,000/week, and received co-star above-the-title billing with Flynn in “Desperate Journey” (1942). In April 1942, Reagan was ordered to active duty and never became a 1st rank star. After his wartime service he co-starred in such films as “The Voice of the Turtle”, “John Loves Mary”, “The Hasty Heart”, “Bedtime for Bonzo”, “Cattle Queen of Montana”, “Tennessee’s Partner”, “Hellcats of the Navy” (his only film with Nancy Davis Reagan), and his one turn at playing a vicious villain in the remake of “The Killers” (1964, his final film).
Nancy Davis Reagan (b. Anne Frances Robbins, 1921- 2016) American film actress, First Lady 1981-89 as 2nd wife of President Reagan. Born in New York City, after her parents separated, she lived with an aunt and uncle for 6 years. When her mother remarried in 1929, she moved to Chicago and was adopted by her mother’s 2nd husband. As Nancy Davis, she was a Hollywood actress in the 1940s and 50s, In 1952, she married Ronald Reagan, then president of the Screen Actors Guild. He had two children from his previous marriage to Jane Wyman and he and Nancy had two children together. As First Lady of California 1967-75, she began to work with the Foster Grandparents Program. She became First Lady of the US in January 1981, following her husband’s election as President. Early in his 1st term, she was criticized largely due to her decision to replace the White House china, which had been paid for by private donations, and for accepting free clothing from fashion designers. She championed causes opposed to recreational drug use and founded the “Just Say No” drug awareness campaign, considered her major initiative as First Lady. She generally had a strong influence on her husband and played a role in a few of his personnel and diplomatic decisions. After his presidency, the couple returned to their Bel Air, LA home where she devoted most of her time to caring for her husband, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 1994, until his 2004 death. Mrs. Reagan remained active within the Reagan Library and in politics, particularly in support of embryonic stem cell research, until her death.
ISP, 10 x 8 b&w bust portrait of the Reagans, inscribed by Ronald Reagan “To …/ Very Best Wishes” and she signs “Nancy &” and he signs “Ronald Reagan”. Undated but on verso pencil dated Dec. 12, 1975 by recipient, 11 months after his gubernatorial term expired.
Condition: Very good