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|REAGAN'S LIFE AND TIMES|
Birth: February 6, 1911, in Tampico, Illinois
Married: Jane Wyman 1940-1948, Nancy Davis in 1952
Education: Graduates from Eureka College, Illinois, in 1932
1932-1966: Sports announcer, motion picture and TV actor
1947-1952: President of Screen Actors Guild
1962: Campaigns for Richard Nixon, GOP gubernatorial candidate in California
1967-1974: Governor of California
1976: Loses Republican primary to Gerald Ford
1980: Defeats Jimmy Carter to become 40th U.S. president
March 30, 1981: Assassination attempt
January 11, 1989: Farewell address to the nation
1994: Announces he has Alzheimer's disease
May 16, 2002: Ronald and Nancy Reagan receive Congressional
(CNN) -- CNN.com asked its users to reflect on the death of Ronald Reagan and share their memories of the former president.
Thousands of e-mails were received from around the world. Following is a sampling of responses, some of which have been edited. Send in your thoughts.
Dwight Ritter from Austin, Texas:
I remember Reagan coming to Harlingen, Texas, in 1976 during his campaign for the Republican nomination. He got off his plane and was walking toward the podium to speak, saw me (12 years old at the time) standing there and stopped. He bent over, stuck out his hand and said, "How are you doing young man?" I have been a Republican ever since.
Sheikh Bashir Ahmed from Islamabad, Pakistan:
[I am] saddened at his death. Truly he was a great communicator, optimist and a courageous leader.
C. Day from Petaluma, California:
Your poll about the most significant parts of Reagan's presidency should have included the drastic reliance on deficit spending and the ... increase of the national debt during his presidency. Those things had a much greater effect on most Americans than the folksy charm that people seem so fond of remembering.
David Bruce from Erie, Michigan:
I had the honor of serving in the U.S. military during President Reagan's administration. He brought dignity and honor back to the military and was a true commander in chief. Thank you Mr. President. Naming an aircraft carrier in your honor is not enough of a thanks for what you did for the men and women in uniform.
Alberto Sandoval from Madrid, Spain:
I was an exchange student in the United States in 1980 when Ronald Reagan became president. Then I was thrilled by his optimism and simplicity on the many issues that threatened America. Today my greater admiration for him turns into deep grief for the death of a president who showed that free enterprise and common sense are a better way than ever-increasing bureaucracy to solve our problems. He wanted to change America, but instead he changed the world.
Brenda Owens from El Paso, Texas:
When President Reagan became president, I was a young college student and a Democrat. I was sure his election to office would be the end of real freedom in our country. Over the next eight years, I slowly developed a grudging respect for the man and then a real pride. I learned a great deal about my country, warts and all. ... I am now proud to share many of his political views and his unfailing patriotism and honest love for my country.
Andre from Ohio:
Although President Reagan was in office while I was a small child, he is still the first president that I can honestly remember. To me he is the ultimate president. When someone mentions the office of the president, Ronald Reagan is the person I think of -- strong, optimistic, positive and a true believer in the ability of the American people.
Chuck Neal from Jonesboro, Georgia:
All the politicians in Washington would do well to learn from [Ronald Reagan's] example and take his passing as an opportunity to reflect and focus back on issues and away from personal attacks and partisan bickering.
M. Mogorosi from Jwaneng, Botswana:
Ronald Reagan will be remembered as a man who brought more grief than good to the Africans. He supported people like [former Zaire dictator] Mobutu Sese Seko, did not do anything to help bring apartheid to an end in the republic of South Africa and killed children in Libya.
Fabio Pizzino from Rome, Italy:
President Reagan had vision, perspective, courage. He had a fundamental role for peace in the world.
J.L. Floyd from Long Beach, California:
[His] administration squandered the country's resources while neglecting urgent matters such as health-care reform, leaving a host of intractable problems for his successors to resolve. His so-called wit and humor were nothing but smarmy sappiness. ...
Chris from England:
Near the end of his presidency, a U.K. satirical puppet show ran a series of sketches ridiculing his increasing forgetfulness. I hope they are thoroughly ashamed of themselves now [that] they know this great orator was suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer's. A great president, one of your best.
Frances from Hughes, Alabama:
I was home with a sick child the day of the assassination attempt [on Ronald Reagan]. I will never forget seeing him waving and then hearing the shots. It was so scary, especially for those of us who remembered John F. Kennedy's assassination. Thank God Reagan survived.
Hoang P. Nguyen from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam:
I remember him as a great governor in California when I did graduate work at the University of Southern California, and later, I admired him as a great president of the United States, a great political figure in the world.
Lynda Sorenson from Tucson, Arizona:
Frankly, I am wondering who in heaven's name all these sentimental, laudatory remembrances are about. Isn't this the president who engineered a covert triangle of weapons exchange between my country, Iran and the Contra rebels? And when questioned about it ... denied remembering anything about it? ...
Arnold Utama from Leidschendam, Netherlands:
Ronald Reagan has inspired me when I started my own business. I have a deep respect for him. He's like a good father. May God give strength to Nancy and her children and grandchildren.
Amrit from Bangkok, Thailand:
As president he proved to be a man of his word. ... I personally admired this man -- for [going] to all lengths to end what we call the Cold War. God bless his soul.
Alfred from Fair Oaks, California:
Ronald Reagan was president as I was going through elementary school. ... That was a very happy, peaceful, simple time for me. It may be because I was too young to know better, or maybe it was because his policies helped my family enjoy peace and prosperity through his terms. ... As Ronald Reagan can now look down from above, he is one of the few who can truly say he left this world better than he found it.
Benton Wisehart from Los Osos, California:
I have studied about, and now been living in, the former Soviet Union for more than 10 years, and it burns me every time I hear that Reagan was the one who ended the Cold War. While he was a major player, he was not the only player. Reagan gets way too much credit with the ending of the Cold War and collapse of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union collapsed under its own weight, and Reagan's policies were just a little added pressure. And let's not even go into Reaganomics.
Mary from San Francisco, California:
I worked in the California State Health Department in the early 1970s when Governor Reagan decided to "streamline" health-care services statewide. He slashed funding to maternal and child health, Indian health, and mental health programs, among other vital services to the people of California. That's when we started seeing mentally ill homeless people wandering the streets of Sacramento. We used to call them "Ronnie's People." As president, he took these policies nationwide, and that's when homeless people started appearing en masse in cities like San Francisco and New York. ... When I hear people singing his praises, I cannot forget what he did to some people -- especially the poor, sick and defenseless people of California and New York.
Tasayu Tasnaphun from Ridgewood, New York:
Although I was around 8 years old, Ronald Reagan seems to me even now one of the greatest leaders America ever had. I remember much about his humor and his charisma. ... To hear of his death brings great sorrow. I know he is in a better place now. He will be missed.
Judi Lembke from Stockholm, Sweden:
Ronald Reagan was a man who tried to have ketchup classified as a vegetable for the school lunch program. Sure, it would've saved some money, but it certainly wouldn't have helped anyone's diet. He is also the man who closed scores of mental institutions, leaving people in dire need of care out on the street and eventually in jail. I do not miss him. I do not mourn him. We Americans can do much better than this.
Robert Volk from Hilliard, Ohio:
President Ronald Reagan was truly a great man and a wonderful president -- my condolences to the family.