Ronald Reagan (1911-2004), a former actor and California governor, served as the 40th U.S. president from 1981 to 1989. Raised in small-town Illinois, he became a Hollywood actor in his 20s and later served as the Republican governor of California from 1967 to 1975. Dubbed the Great Communicator, the affable Reagan became a popular two-term president. He cut taxes, increased defense spending, negotiated a nuclear arms reduction agreement with the Soviets and is credited with helping to bring a quicker end to the Cold War. Reagan, who survived a 1981 assassination attempt, died at age 93 after battling Alzheimer’s disease.