Today is the 100th anniversary of the birth of the 40th President of the US.
Ronald Wilson Reagan was born in Illinois, 100 years ago today.
His life story is vast, he was many things, from radio announcer to actor to Union President to President, but he was also a husband, and by all accounts, a very loving one.
He was married twice. Jane Wyman, with whom he had two children and adopted one more was his first. Reagan and Wyman divorced over his political ambitions and plans in 1948. The divorce was her idea.
He was a Hollywood star, good-looking, and a player, he didn’t stay single long.
Reagan met ‘actress’, Nancy Davis when she came to him as the president of SAG. She needed help with an issue about her name appearing on a communist blacklist in Hollywood (she had been mistaken for another Nancy Davis).
Seriously, Nancy a commie?
She described their meeting by saying, “I don’t know if it was exactly love at first sight, but it was pretty close.” They were engaged at the famous LA restaurant Chasen’s, and married on March 4, 1952. William Holden was the best man at the ceremony. She was pregnant at the time, and while in the White House, she said, “Everyone can count, Patti was born seven months after we were married. There’s no mystery there.” They had one other child, Ron.
People who knew them well described the Reagans’ relationship as close, real, and intimate.
While President, they were frequently seen displaying their affection for one another; one press secretary said, “They never took each other for granted. They never stopped courting.”
In one of his letters to her while they were apart, he said “whatever I treasure and enjoy … all would be without meaning if I didn’t have you.”
After the assassination attempt in 1981, while he was still in the hospital, she slept with one of his shirts to be comforted by his scent.
In 1998 after it was made public that he had Alzheimer’s, she told “Vanity Fair”, “Our relationship is very special. We were very much in love and still are. When I say my life began with Ronnie, well, it’s true. It did. I can’t imagine life without him.”