By Selwyn Manning, Scoop Co-Editor
Former United States president Ronald Reagan died Saturday U.S. EST from pneumonia, complicated by years of Alzheimer’s Disease. Reagan was 93 years of age. His wife Nancy issued a statement saying "We would like the world to know Reagan has passed away".
Nancy Reagan said: "My family and I would like the world to know that President Ronald Reagan has passed away after 10 years of Alzheimer's disease at 93 years of age. We appreciate everyone's prayers."
In Paris, U.S. President George W Bush called Reagan's death "a sad day for America." He ordered that the U.S. flag over the White House be lowered to half-mast.
As president, Reagan was known for driving down U.S. government spending, committing the U.S. to advancing the ‘Cold War’ with the Soviet Union, increasing military spending while constricting the Soviet Union to arms agreements, for the Iran-Hostages-Contra deal and bankrolling rightwing rebels in Nicaragua, and for flying the star-wars kite.
His style of econ-politics was termed Reaganomics and heralded a global trend followed by Thatcherism in the United Kingdom, and Rogernomics in New Zealand.
He was elected president at the age of 69 in 1980. Seventy days after his election Reagan was shot when leaving a Washington hotel. John Hinckley, fired six shots at him. A bullet lodged an inch from Reagan's heart, but he recovered. He was re-elected in 1984 but his presidency was dogged with failing mental health (later believed to be the effects of a slow-slide into Alzheimer’s suffering) and the lingering scandal of the Iran-Contra deal.
Before becoming U.S. president,
Reagan was a radio sports announcer, an actor, a television
performer, a spokesman for the General Electric Co., and a
two-term governor of California.