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In response to the fellow who arrived at OTB asking, “why does michael reagan refer to mrs reagan as nancy?” my initial response is “Well, that’s her name.” My second reaction is that, in actuality, her name is McGill, she called herself ‘Lil,’ but everyone knew her as Nancy.

Most likely, though, the actual answer is that he was adopted by Ronald Reagan and his first wife, Jane Wyman, and raised by Wyman after the divorce.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Boyd says:

    When I read her name is McGill, I thought, “What the hell is James talking about?” but by the time I got through she called herself ‘Lil,’, I knew that everyone knew her as Nancy was coming.

    Oh, the things that pop into our minds!

  2. Rodney Dill says:

    My mind would’ve followed the Firesign Theatre track.

    Melanie Haber, Audrey Farber, Susan Underhill,and… Betty Jo Bialowsky!

    Oh you must mean Nancy

  3. Attila Girl says:

    Love the Beatles quote.

    The short answer to the question is that one usually calls one’s stepparents by their first names, and Nancy is that to Michael. (That is, the issue has nothing to do with his having been adopted; it has to do with the fact that he already had a mom, Jane Wyman.)