Ronald Reagan (b. 1911) came to politics late. He was fifty-five when he was elected Governor of California in 1966 and sixty-nine (even older than William Henry Harrison) when he became President of the United States in 1981. Before that he had been a radio sportscaster, a Hollywood film star, and a television host and performer. But he liked politics best. "When I was announcing sports I was happy and thought that was all I wanted out of life," he once said. "Then came the chance at Hollywood and that was even better. Now I'm doing something that makes everything else I've done seem dull as dishwater when I look back." 1
In the entertainment world Reagan was regarded as a competent performer. After graduating from Eureka College, near Peoria, Illinois, in 1932, he got a job as sports announcer for a radio station in Davenport, Iowa, and then moved to Des Moines, Iowa, where he covered track meets, prize fights, baseball, and Big Ten football for station WHO and became one of the best-known sportscasters in the Middle West. He usually broadcast live, but on occasion did simulated broadcasts of Chicago Cubs games based on Western Union reports of each play. One day the wire died when Augie Galan was at the bat in a tight spot. But Reagan kept Galan fouling off pitch after imaginary pitch for six frantic minutes until the ticker came alive again and rescued him. 2 In 1937, he accompanied the Cubs to California for spring training and took a screen
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Publication information: Book title: Presidential Anecdotes. Edition: Revised. Contributors: Paul F. Boller Jr. - Author. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1996. Page number: 348.
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