On February 6, 2016, President Ronald Reagan would be 105, and my twin brother, Ed, and I will be 56. We share the president’s birthday in common with him, and we actually met during the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.
My memories of the Great Communicator are quite vivid. He had an ear-to-ear smile, great eye contact, and a firm handshake. He was a big man and in good health, as the picture captures. When we met him in 1984, President Reagan was finishing his first term. At 73, he drew upon a wealth of life experiences—radio broadcaster, movie star, television host, and two-term governor of California—that prepared him for the highest office in the land. Ronald Reagan knew something about perseverance. He won the presidency on his third try.
As I read Bill O’Reilly’s book, Killing Reagan, I feel as if I am remembering a relative. Our 40th president was indeed a father figure to me and many others. He gave us confidence in the future. President Reagan projected strength and optimism. With his vision, patriotism, and leadership, he changed the course of history. Happy Birthday, Mr. President, and happy birthday to you, Ed!