By John Calhoun

The 16th, 40th and 44th U.S. Presidents will forever be associated with the state of Illinois.  Each of them lived here at some point in their lives, but just one of them is actually an Illinois native.

Ronald Wilson Reagan was  born in Tampico on February 6, 1911.  Tampico is about 110 miles west of Chicago.  It’s a very small town, with a population of 790 listed in the 2010 census.

After graduating from Eureka College in 1932, Reagan became a radio sports announcer.  While working at a station in Des Moines, he would create play-by-play accounts of Chicago Cubs games.  Reagan did this using only basic descriptions that the station received by wire service.

In 1937, while traveling with the Cubs in California, he took a screen test.  The result was a contract with Warner Brothers studios. He was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild twice and later became a motivational speaker for General Electric.

In 1966 he was elected Governor of California and re-elected in 1970.

Ten years later, Ronald Reagan was elected President Of The United States.  In a landslide victory, he was re-elected in 1984.

Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 1994 and would die at the age of 93 in 2004.

Like all presidents, Ronald Reagan had admirers and critics. He also had quite a sense of humor. Here’s how he came up with so many great one-liners:



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