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Ronald Reagan and Nancy Davis Reagan Marriage Profile

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Photo Courtesy Ronald Reagan Library
Photo Courtesy Ronald Reagan Library
Because Ronald and Nancy Reagan's long-term marriage was often in the media spotlight, their devotion to one another throughout their years together was often reported.

Here's information on how Nancy and Ronald Reagan met, when they married, and more.

What You Can Learn From the Marriage of Nancy and Ronald Reagan:

You can learn the importance of thoughtful acts in a long term marriage such as leaving love notes for one another and being supportive of one another. Their marriage also teaches the value of staying with one another through a difficult illness.

Born / Died:


Born:
Ronald Wilson Reagan: February 6, 1911 in Tampico, Illinois.

Nancy Davis: July 6, 1921 in New York City, New York. Nancy's birth name was Anne Frances Robbins.

Died:
Ronald: June 5, 2004 in Bel-Air, California. In 1993 he announced he had Alzheimer's disease and retreated from public life.

How Ronald and Nancy Met, Proposal, and Wedding:


Nancy and Ronald met in 1951 when she arranged to meet him to talk over a problem concerning having her name listed without her approval in an advertisement in the Hollywood Reporter.

They had dinner at La Rue Restaurant on the Sunset Strip and dated only one another until they were married.

Proposal: His proposal in February 1952 was a simple one over dinner at their favorite hangout, Chasen's. He said "Let's get married." She said "Let's."

Wedding Date: On March 4, 1952, Ronald and Nancy were married at a nearly secret wedding ceremony near Los Angeles in the Little Brown Church in the Valley.


The only guests at their late-afternoon wedding were William and Ardis Holden. William was their best man at the wedding and Ardis was matron of honor.

Nancy's wedding attire was a gray suit and a veiled hat.

Her diamond wedding ring was from a jeweler on Rodeo Drive, Ruser's.

They had a wedding dinner at the Holden's home in North Hollywood.

The first night of their honeymoon was at the Mission Inn in Riverside. They next day they went to Phoenix, Arizona to visit Nancy's parents.

Nancy was 30 years old, and Ronald was 41 years old when they married.

Previous Marriages:


Ronald:
  • Jane Wyman aka Sarah Jane Mayfield Fulks: Born 1/5/1917 in Missouri. Jane had two previous marriages prior to her marriage to Ronald. Her first marriage to Ernest Eugene Wyman on 4/8/1933 ended in divorce in 1935.

    Her second marriage to Myron Futterman on 6/29/1937 ended in divorce on 12/5/1938.

    Jane and Ronald married on 01/26/1940, at the Week Kirk O' the Heather Church, Forest Lawn, California. Their marriage ended in divorce on 6/28/1948.

    Jane later married and divorced, then remarried and divorced bandleader Frederick Karger.

    Jane died at the age of 93 on 9/10/2007 at her Palm Springs home.

Occupations:


Ronald: Ronald was a sportscaster, served in the Army Air Force, acted in 53 films, helped produce 400 Army training films, was president of the Screen Actors Guild, acted as the television spokesman for the General Electric Company, was Governor of California from 1967 to 1975, and was the Fortieth President of the United States from 1981 to 1989.

Nancy: Nancy was an actress in 11 films, works with many charitable groups, is an author, established the Nancy Reagan Foundation and the Nancy Reagan Afterschool Program, and is involved with the National Alzheimer's Association.

Children:


Ronald had five children:
  • Maureen Elizabeth Reagan: Born 1/04/1941. Mother: Jane Wyman. Maureen died on 8/08/2001 of melanoma.

  • Michael Edward Reagan: Born 4/01/1945. Adopted, birth name is John Flaugher. Adopted mother: Jane Wyman.

  • Christine Reagan: Born/Died 6/26/1947. Some reports state the baby was stillborn, others that she lived 9 hours. Mother: Jane Wyman.

  • Patricia Ann Reagan aka Patti Davis: Born on 10/21/1952. Mother: Nancy Davis Reagan.

  • Ronald Prescott Reagan: Born on 5/20/1958. Mother: Nancy Davis Reagan.

Grandchildren: They have two grandchildren: Cameron and Ashley Reagan.

Miscellaneous:


Ronald called Nancy "Mommy." Nancy called Ronald "Ronnie."

It has been reported that the couple walked hand in hand always, and they often left love notes for one another.

President Reagan survived an assassination attempt and colon cancer, and suffered from Alzheimer's for ten years before his death.

Nancy Reagan survived breast cancer.

Although she feared horses, in order to share in Ronald's love of horse back riding, Nancy took riding lessons from him to get over her fear.

On September 4, 1969, Governor Reagan signed California's no-fault divorce bill into law. The legislation took effect January 1, 1970.

Residence:


Personal homes: Los Angeles (Bel-Air), California and their Rancho Cel Cielo.

While living in the White house, Nancy redecorated the family living quarters.

Quotes and Books About Their Marriage:


I Love You, Ronnie: The Letters of Ronald Reagan to Nancy Reagan
by Nancy and Ronald Reagan
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The Reagan Diaries
by Ronald Reagan and edited by Douglas Brinkley
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    March 4, 1981: "Our wedding anniversary. 29 years of more happiness than any man could rightly deserve."
    Source: Vanityfair.com

    March 4, 1985: "Nancy came to the oval office for lunch & we cut an anniversary cake & had a few of the immediate staff share in it. That was the extent of our celebration except that at dinner we opened a bottle of Chateau Margaux 1911."
    Source: Vanityfair.com

    Sept. 28, 1987: "Upstairs —- no Nancy, she is overnight at the Grunwalds place. As usual I'm lonesome & so is Rex [family dog]."
    Source: Vanityfair.com

Nancy about Ronald's death: "If a death can be peaceful and lovely, that one was. And when it came down to what we knew was the end, and I was on one side of the bed with Ron, and Patty was on the other side, and Ronnie all of a sudden turned his head and looked at me and opened his eyes and just looked … Well, what a gift he gave me at that point... I learned a lot from Ronnie, while he was sick — a lot. I learned patience. I learned how to accept something that was given to you, and how to die."
Source: ABC News

Nancy, about her cooking: "I always said I wanted to be a wife and a mother. I never said I wanted to be a cook."
Source: Behind Every Successful President: The Hidden Power & Influence of America's First Ladies, page 47.

Ronald: "I have recently been told that I am one of the millions of Americans who will be afflicted with Alzheimer's disease... I only wish there was some way I could spare Nancy from this painful experience."

Nancy: "I don't know if it was exactly love at first sight. But it was pretty close."

Nancy: "What can you say about a man, who on Mother's Day sends flowers to his mother-in-law, with a note thanking her for making him the happiest man on Earth?"

A press secretary: "They never took each other for granted. They never stopped courting."

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