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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). Before entering politics, Reagan was also a sports broadcaster, a lifeguard, a newspaper columnist, a motion picture actor, head of the Screen Actors Guild, a television actor, and a motivational speaker. His speaking style, which was widely regarded as well delivered and persuasive, earned Reagan the nickname "The Great Communicator" from the media.
Reagan defeated incumbent President Jimmy Carter to win the election of 1980, carrying along the first Republican-dominated U.S. Senate in 26 years. His economic policy of supply-side economics, popularly known as "Reaganomics" is noted for a 25% cut in the income tax, reduction in inflation, reduction in interest rates, increased military spending, increased deficits and national debt, a temporary solution to the Social Security issue, elimination of loopholes in the tax code, continued deregulation of business, a sharp recession in 1981-1982 followed by a very robust economic expansion starting in '82. In other domestic issues he failed in his efforts to significantly change social policies such as welfare and abortion during his presidency, but he did move the federal judiciary to the right through appointments to the Supreme Court and other federal courts. From beginning to end he emphasized his skepticism concerning the ability of the federal government to remedy problems.
His supporters and many opponents credit him for restoring psychological optimism to an America that seemed in deep malaise in 1980. In foreign policy his administration is noted for the vast buildup of the military and change from containment of the Soviet Union to confrontation. Reagan was committed to the ideologies of democratic capitalism and anti-communism.
Reagan's role in the collapse of the Soviet Union is debated by historians, with some considering Reagan to be a leading figure in orchestrating the collapse of Soviet Communism in 1991 ; while other historians are of the belief that Reagan's time in office and the demise of the Soviet Union were largely a coincidental occurrence as the Soviet Union had experienced no substantial economic growth since the 1960's. 
Reagan also held a dominant position in the emergence of the American conservative movement. He was reelected in a landslide in the 1984 presidential election, and left office with high approval ratings.
The decade of the 1980s is at times referred to as the "Reagan Era."
Reagan was the victim of an assassination attempt on March 30, 1981, by John Hinckley Jr. He was the only U.S. President to be struck by an assassin's bullet while in office as President and survive. He received a state funeral after his death in Bel-Air, California, in 2004 at the age of 93, after suffering from Alzheimer's disease for a decade.
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