There are few people in America, I'm sure, that have never dreamt of becoming America's next president or one of Hollywood's many stars and living "The American dream." Our 40th president Ronald Reagan, however, did both.
Ronald Wilson Reagan was born on February 6th 1911 in Tampico, Illinois two years after his brother John Neil Reagan. His father's name was John Edward ("Jack") Regan. He was the son of John Michael and Jennie Cusick-Reagan. In the 1860's during the great potato famine Ronald's paternal great grandfather Michael Reagan immigrated to the United States from Ballyporeen, County Tipperary, Ireland. Before his immigration the family name had been spelled "Regan," but after settling in America the spelling was changed to "Reagan." Ronald's mother was Nelle Clyde Wilson-Reagan. She was one of seven children of Thomas and Mary Ann Elsey-Wilson. His maternal great grandfather immigrated to the United States in the early 1800's from Paisley, Scotland.
Ronald states in his autobiography that his father "Jack" was "
endowed with the gift of blarney and the charm of a leprechaun
[and] was destined by God
to be a salesman.
constantly searching for a better life
we moved to wherever my father's ambition took him
" He also says in his autobiography that his nickname, "Dutch," was given to him by his father soon after he was born when he remarked that Ronald looked like "a fat little Dutchman," and later the "Dutch Boy" haircut that his mother gave him as a toddler only strengthened the nickname.
When Ronald was younger his family was always moving as his father went from job to job. But In 1920 after years of moving from town to town the family settled down for good in Dixon, Illinois. In 1924, when he entered high school, Reagan's greatest aspiration in life was to make the high school football team and earn his right to his own purple and white jersey. At tryouts he scrapped as best he could but at only 5'3" and 108 lbs he didn't measure up...