Jump to content

Ronald Regan dies aged 93


Recommended Posts

Ronald Reagan dies at 93

Former president had Alzheimer's disease

Sunday, June 6, 2004 Posted: 9:38 AM EDT (1338 GMT)



LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Former President Ronald Reagan -- who many give credit for a resurgence in political conservativism and the end of the Cold War -- died Saturday at 93.


The 40th president of the United States served from 1981 to 1989.


His office said he died of pneumonia, described as a complication of Alzheimer's disease, a condition he made public in a stirring letter in 1994.


His wife of 52 years, Nancy Davis Reagan, and their two children, Ron Reagan and Patti Davis, were with him at 1:09 p.m. (4:09 p.m. ET) when he died at his home in the Bel Air district of Los Angeles.


Michael Reagan, his adopted son from his first marriage to actress Jane Wyman, arrived at the home shortly before news of the death. Maureen Reagan, his daughter from that marriage, died of brain cancer in 2001.


A hearse bearing Reagan's body emerged from the house at 5:13 p.m., escorted by police motorcycles and followed by several other cars. The flag-draped coffin was visible through the rear window.


Some people standing along the route to the funeral home in Santa Monica held American flags and others saluted. The funeral home was surrounded by hundreds of people.


Reagan's body will be flown to Washington, D.C., probably Tuesday night, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Illinois, said.


"He will come up to the Capitol, as far as we know right now, by a procession probably Wednesday morning and lie in state at the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday and Thursday, and, we think, a funeral at the National Cathedral on Friday," said Hastert, who represents the Illinois congressional district that includes Reagan's hometown of Dixon.


Hastert said that the former president's body would be returned to California Friday for a private funeral with the family at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, where the burial is planned for sunset. (Ceremony plans)


The White House and federal buildings lowered their flags to half-staff in Reagan's honor.


President Bush paid tribute to Reagan during his address Sunday at the U.S. war cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer in Normandy, France, to honor the heroes of World War II on the 60th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.


"He was a courageous man himself, and a gallant leader in the cause of freedom and today we honor the memory of Ronald Reagan," Bush said. (D-Day heroics honored)


Reagan's "Point du Huoc" speech, delivered at Normandy on D-Day's 40th anniversary, was among his most famous.


Bush had earlier responded to Reagan's death in Paris where he was first informed of the former president's passing.


"This is a sad hour in the life of America. A great American life has just come to an end," Bush said. "He leaves behind a nation he restored and a world he helped save. During the years of President Reagan, America laid to rest an era of division and self-doubt, and, because of his leadership, the world laid to rest an era of fear and tyranny," Bush said. (Bush statement)


Bush's father, former President George H.W. Bush, said "history will give Reagan great credit for standing for principles."


"It was wonderful the way that he could take a stand, and do it without bitterness or without creating enmity with other people," said the elder Bush, who was Reagan's vice president and successor.


Nancy Reagan issued a brief statement to announce her husband's death. "We appreciate everyone's prayers over the years," she said.


Soon after his father's death, Michael Reagan noted "the feeling of loss and pain which comes when a parent leaves you."


"I pray that as America reflects on the passing of my dad, they will remember a man of integrity, conviction and good humor that changed America and the world for the better," Michael Reagan said. "He would modestly say the credit goes to others, but I believe the credit is his."


Former President Bill Clinton and his wife, Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, issued a statement that praised the former president for his optimistic outlook.


"Hillary and I will always remember President Ronald Reagan for the way he personified the indomitable optimism of the American people, and for keeping America at the forefront of the fight for freedom for people everywhere," their statement said.


Presidential historian Robert Dallek spoke of Reagan's contributions to the office.


"He restored a kind of confidence in the presidency, and a better mood in the United States about politics and politicians and about the presidency," Dallek said.


Tributes poured in from around the world, including from former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who described Reagan as a "truly great American hero." (World leaders pay tribute)


'Long journey'

At a fund-raiser last month, Nancy Reagan described her husband's condition.


"Ronnie's long journey has finally taken him to a distant place where I can no longer reach him," she said. "Because of this I'm determined to do whatever I can to save other families from this pain."


Alzheimer's is a progressive, irreversible, incurable neurological disorder that causes losses of memory and mental abilities -- eventually leading to dementia, according to the Mayo Clinic Web site.


She also called for increased funding for stem-cell research, which has shown promise as a potential treatment for Alzheimer's and other conditions, such as Parkinson's disease.


"Now science has presented us with a hope called stem cell research, which may provide our scientists with many answers that have for so long been beyond our grasp," Reagan told an audience in Los Angeles. "I just don't see how we can turn our backs on this."


Human stem-cell research is controversial, because it uses cells harvested from newly fertilized embryos. Bush signed an executive order in 2001, banning the use of federal funds to harvest new lines of stem cells for medical research.


Assassination attempt

Reagan disclosed in November 1994 in a passionate letter to the American people that he has Alzheimer's disease. Reagan faded from public view a short time later and has been rarely seen outside his home.


The former Hollywood film actor stopped going to his Century City office in 1999 but still made trips to parks and enjoyed strolls on the Venice Beach boardwalk with his Secret Service contingent.


At 69, Reagan was the oldest man elected president when he was chosen on November 4, 1980, over incumbent Democrat Jimmy Carter.


On March 30, 1981, Reagan was leaving a Washington hotel after addressing labor leaders when John Hinckley fired six gunshots at him. A bullet lodged an inch from Reagan's heart, but he recovered fully.


In 1984, he defeated Democrat Walter Mondale.


Reagan has also undergone a 1985 colon cancer operation and 1987 prostate and skin-cancer surgery.


He fell and broke his hip in 2001, less than a month before his 90th birthday


Today is a very sad day ronald regan probably the most popular president the US has seen in a long time my thoughts are with the regan family.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I heard the news last night and felt sad for his family... he was a good leader, he tried to do his best on all sides to help everyone...

He gave Iseral and Saudi financal and military backing to try and keep them afloat and deadlocked, he helped bring about the beginning of Nuclear Disarmenment, he helped end the Cold War and stopped the Soviets from taking Afganistan.

And before any one says he funded Bin Laden, he didn't, he funded the rebels of which Bin Laden wasn't one, he was at the time working in human aid and recieved funding for that which he milked corrputly and used to build his empire. Reagan didn't know this and cannot be blamed.


R.I.P. Reagan, I hope you find peace whereever the next life takes you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reagan, from our point of view, was a great US President.


He was very pro-Britain, and had a great relationship with Thatcher- the start of the "special relationship" was initiated by Reagan. RIP.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What reasons Bob' date=' they suggesting his wife helped him go? I know she said she couldn't reach him anymore and he couldn't reach anyone either, he was a shell of his former self... Surely not a mercy killing.[/quote']

Nah, that Bush was involved, but look how old the guy got...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reagan was 93 years old. He lived with Alzheimers for the last 10 years. He died of natural causes, not because someone plotted it. Hell, I'll be lucky to live to be 75 years old, ya know?


He was one of the best presidents the US ever had. God bless him and his family. may he Rest In Peace.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...