Ronald Reagan, R.I.P.

Fox News is reporting that former President Ronald Reagan has died at age 93.

Ronald Wilson Reagan
40th President of the United States
February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004


WaPo/AP — Ronald Reagan Has Died

NYT/AP — Former President Ronald Reagan Dies at 93

Ronald Reagan, the cheerful crusader who devoted his presidency to winning the Cold War, trying to scale back government and making people believe it was “morning again in America,” died Saturday after a long twilight struggle with Alzheimer’s disease, a family friend said. He was 93.

He died at his home in California, according to the friend, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The White House was told his health had taken a turn for the worse in the last several days.

Five years after leaving office, the nation’s 40th president told the world in November 1994 that he had been diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer’s, an incurable illness that destroys brain cells. He said he had begun “the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life.”

Reagan body was expected to be taken to his presidential library and museum in Simi Valley, Calif., and then flown to Washington to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda. His funeral was expected to be at the National Cathedral, an event likely to draw world leaders. The body was to be returned to California for a sunset burial at his library.

Update: My thoughts on President Reagan’s passing are in the previous post. Some other reactions from around the blogosphere:

  • Robert Prather: “He’s had such a profound impact on my life and has been the best President of my lifetime.”
  • Robert Garcia Tagorda: “Sadly, the Great Communicator’s farewell address takes on new meaning today.” and “Matt Drudge offers the web equivalent of a moment of silence: he clears his home page.”
  • Jay Tea calls for a moment of silence of his own.
  • Joe Katzman: “. . . millions and millions of people around the world will mourn in the next few days – because what this man did helped to change their lives for the better.”
  • Joe Gandleman has a personal anecdote about the Gipper.
  • Commissar has collected a few Reagan quotes.
  • Kevin Aylward has some thoughts and photographs.
  • Bill Quick: “Ave atque vale!”
  • Dean Esmay: “I voted against Ronald Reagan in my first vote for President in 1984. In retrospect, I was a fool.”
  • Jon Henke has several tributes from the Left.
  • Jeff Goldstein: “You gave us back our dignity. Rest in peace.”
  • Kate McMillan adds Canadian condolences.
  • Spoons: “By his role in defeating the Soviet Union, he may very well have saved millions of lives..”
  • Dodd Harris dusts off a tribute from Reagan’s 90th birthday.
  • Brad DeLong: “He tried hard, but by and large he didn’t have the brainpower to think his way out of the boxes that his prior commitments and initial personnel choices handed him.”
  • Kevin Drum: “Rose tinted hindsight or not, I didn’t like his policies then and I don’t like them now. But there’s a time and a place for everything, so I’ll stay quiet for now and allow conservatives to have their day.”
  • Steven Taylor reflects on the “amiable dunce” moniker and the tragedy of Altzheimer’s disease.
  • Tacitus reflects on how Reagan touched his life.

Update: The White House is expected to issue an announcement around 5:25 Eastern time, according to Fox News.

Update: See the next post for tributes and thoughts from the big media.

FILED UNDER: Obituaries, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Less than ten minutes after the announcement, MSNBC is talking about how conservative he made the Supreme Court.

  2. Ron Atkinson says:

    He was sort of the first president I really remember. He always seemed like a pleasant avuncular figure in my youthful days.

    The GOP may get a sentimental boost from this for a few days, but we’re to come away from the whole thing with a reminder that GWB is no Reagan.

  3. Sam Donaldson was just reminding us of the deficit Reagan supposedly left us. Have these people no shame?

  4. Sgt Fluffy says:

    Goodbye to the greatest American of all time. And the reason I vote Republican

  5. Ok, now Lester Holt was arguing with Lawrence Kudlow that Reagan may have cut taxes but he also gave us massive cuts in social programs.

    What color do you think the sky is in the liberal world?

  6. On this side of the pond he is also missed. I have collated some tributes on my blog- including one from Thatcher

  7. Aakash says:

    In a few hours, some of the College Republicans here in Illinois will be meeting at Eureka College, President Reagan’s alma mater. We will be at the Reagan Peace Garden, and may also go to the Reagan museum there; I have never been to either of them, so this will be very good, and very appropriate.

    I was quite upset yesterday afternoon when I saw the news. Ronald Wilson Reagan was, in my opinion, the greatest president of our time. I wish we could have more leaders like him, but persons with those qualities seem to be quite rare.

    Please check out the current home page of Young America’s Foundation []. That web page is really good right now; I was there last night, and I found that they had already set up a new site in remembrance of President Reagan.

    God bless Ronald Reagan.

  8. Paulie says:

    I was in the military throughout the 1980s, starting as an ROTC cadet and leaving service as an Army captain in 1990. In 1983, with the liberation of Grenada, we all felt the bad tide of 1970’s anti-American malaise begin to fade. With each passing year, President Reagan made us all feel like we were special, that our service to America was indeed a service to freedom. His words to “tear down the wall” were perhaps the bravest Presidential words since Lincoln freed the slaves: Reagan freed a continent.

    God Speed Mr. President. Please continue to pray for us.

  9. Chris says:

    “They Don’t make them like that anymore”! God Bless you President Reagan, and thanks for the memories! Nancy and family you are all in our prayers!

  10. Anonymous says:

    I will miss his great smile. What a president and man!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Our class is learning about President Reagan. He was a great President.

    President Reagan brought peace to the United States during his years of President.

    Ronald Reagan was the 40th President.
    Ronald Regan die in 2004.

    Ronald Reagan was a great United states president.He stop the cold war with Rusia.

    Anderson Elementary School
    Ms. Estrada’s 5th grade class

  12. Debbie Mitchell says:

    What I most remember about President Reagan, is that he ended the cold war and helped bring down the wall. The treaties he signed with Mr. Gorbachauv were something I will never forget. I was in high school when this took place. On a more personal note, there was a time when I wrote to the president about a medical condition I had heard he was dealing with. I myself when I was very young had delt with a similar medical situation and wanted to share this with him. He replied back to my letter and I still have it. I am now 36 and I was deeply sorrowed to hear of his passing. I was raised democratic, but I was still able to see the good he brought to our country and to the people of the United States. Mrs. Reagan, and family you will be in my prayers and thoughts.

    Debbie Mitchell
    Garland TX

  13. Anonymous says:

    i feel for a good president once agian leaves us. We only had 3 good presidents and that is Reagon, Kenndy, and Clinton. these people were the best presidents. god rest all there soul. Bush take lessons.