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The Profile Of A Leader : Pres. Ronald W. Reagan

1447 words - 6 pages

Leadership can mean different things to different people. However, we all can agree that, to some extent, each president of the United States of America acts in a leadership role. With that being said, one of the more recent presidents who had quite an impact on the nation and the world is Ronald Wilson Reagan.Ronald Reagan was born on February 6, 1911 in the town of Tampico, Illinois. His childhood was a happy one, despite his family's persistent financial hardships. Reagan's father, Jack, was a storekeeper who had dreams of owning a fancy shoe store; unfortunately, his ambitions were undermined by his alcoholism. Jack?s alcoholism had affected the young Ronald so much that at one point, Reagan told his father he had ?that problem? just to encourage his father to quit drinking. Reagan's mother, Nelle, was a soft-spoken, religious woman. She donated much of her time and whatever money she could to charity. The Great Depression hit the Reagans hard and they moved constantly from town to town to pursue Jack's dreams of striking it rich. Nevertheless, Reagan always believed that things would get better and never thought his predicament was that bad in the first place. He once said "We were poor, but we didn't know we were poor." At high school and college, Reagan was never studied a great deal, but he had a photographic memory that allowed him to pass tests easily with barely an hour's worth of studying. He was popular and content, although he was somewhat shy. He was a football player and swimmer with a steady girlfriend. At Eureka College, Reagan joined the drama club and he got his first taste of leadership and public speaking when he helped defeat a plan to lay off teachers and cancel classes. He gave an emotional speech accusing the college's president and trustees of bad faith. He said in his autobiography that during the speech he learned that "an audience has a feel to it and, in the parlance of the theater, the audience and I were together." After graduating college in 1932, Reagan knew that he wanted to pursue a career in communications. He spent months of working odd jobs, until a radio station in Illinois offered him five dollars and bus fare to announce a University of Iowa football game. A few months later he was hired as a full-time announcer at the radio station, where he struggled to keep his job. He then moved to a station in Des Moines, Iowa, where he announced sports events. He also announced Chicago Cubs baseball games in the Des Moines studio. He would read a pitch-by-pitch account as it came off the wire as if the game were happening live. In fact, many listeners could not believe that he was not there.While covering a sports story on Catalina Island, near Los Angeles, Reagan caught the attention of an agent from the Warner Brothers movie studio. After doing a screen test for Warner Brothers, Reagan was signed to a seven-year movie contract with the studio. In the years following, he was seen in a number of forgettable films;...

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