Ronald Reagan was born on February 6, 1911 in Tampico, Illinois (Huckshorn 1). He was born in a small apartment above the Pitney General Store (Life Before 1). John Edward Reagan (his father) was a shoe salesman that was an alcoholic. The first time he saw his son he said, "For such a little bit of a fat Dutchman, he makes a hell of a lot of noise, doesn't he" (Life Before 1). This led to his nickname, "Dutch."
Reagan's father barely had a grade-school education, but he loved his children. He tried to earn a living for his family, but it was difficult because he was an "alcoholic". Reagan's father's luck changed when he was chosen to be the Dixon director of the Works Progress Administration. This was a federal agency that put Americans back to work after the Depression.
Reagan's mother taught her children that alcoholics had a disease. His mother visited prisoners, the inmates of poor houses, and hospital patients. She outlived her husband who died in 1941.
Reagan graduated from High School in 1928. "Reagan played basketball and right guard on the football team, ran track, served as president of the student body, acted in school plays, and wrote for the yearbook" (Life Before 1)
Reagan majored in economics and astronomy at Eureka College. He was the editor of the college yearbook, served as president of the student council, and led cheers for the school's basketball team. As a freshman he led a student strike in protest against a decision made by the college administration. "The student demonstration resulted in the resignation of the college president and a return to the old curriculum" (Life Before 2). Once Reagan graduated at Eureka he took a job as weekend radio sportscaster in Davenport, Iowa. Two years later he became a sports announcer (who2 1). In 1936, Reagan was the popular voice of baseball and football in the Midwest. In 1936, Reagan started into films. Warner Brothers offered him a salary of $200 per week. "By the...