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Nancy Davis Reagan

Nancy Robbins was born in New York City on July 6, 1921.
When Nancy was two, her mother and father separated. Then when she was seven, her mother married Dr. Loyal Davis. She regarded Dr. Davis as her father.

She attended private schools and then attended Smith College. She majored in drama.

In 1949, she moved to Hollywood and started a career in movies. She and Ronald appeared in a movie called the Hellcats of the Navy together. "Hellcats were a famous fighter plane in WW II>

She met Ronald Reagan that year. They were married on March 4, 1952. William Holden was the best man at their wedding. The ceremony was held at the Wee Kirk O'Heather wedding chapel near Hollywood.

Nancy Reagan
Nancy Reagan
Library of Congress

Ronald and Nancy had two children, Patricia and Ronald. Patti was an actress and a writer. Ronald (Ron) was a ballet dancer and a journalist.

Nancy called her husband "Ronnie."

Nancy Reagan believed in Astrology and would have an astrologist give her ideas for the best days for travel and the presidential debates.

Nancy used an astrologer named Joan Quiqley who was recommended to her by Merv Griffein a television star and founder of the tv show Jeopardy.

Ronald Reagan ran for Governor of California in 1966. He won the election.

When he was governor of California, Nancy refused to stay in the governors mansion because it was in such bad shape. His supporters bought a house nearby and leased it to the Reagans.

In 1980, her husband ran for the U.S. Presidency.

Nancy's inaugural wardrobe was estimated to cost $25,000.

Both Nancy and Ronald won the Congressional Medal of honor.

She tasted all of the food served at the White House before it was served to her guests.

She was criticized for spending $200,000 on new china for the White House and for redecorating the living area.

Nancy directed the renovation to the White House. It was the first upgrade since President Truman. Nancy raised a million dollars for the renovation. The total cost was over 44 million dollars.

The Reagan's liked to watch tv while they ate their dinner.

While First Lady she worked on a Foster Grandparent Program and was involved in an anti drug campaign (Just Say No).

In 1989, the Reagan's retired to their ranch in Santa Barbara, California.

Nancy published her memoirs, My Turn, that year.

Ronald was diagnosed with Alzheimer in 1994. Nancy cared for him through his struggles with the disease. Ronald died in 2004.

Nancy still lives on the ranch.




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Sources of Information:

Barden, Cindy,Meet the First Ladies, Lorenz Corp.
Gormley, Beatrice,First Ladies: Women Who Called The White House Home (First Ladies) , Scholastic Paperbacks, 1997
Smith, Carter, Editor,Smithsonian Presidents and First Ladies DK Publishing, New York, 2002

Web Sites:
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Portraits of the Presidents and First Ladies:


This page was updated: February 25, 2013