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Michael Reagan
Born Michael Edward Reagan
March 18, 1945 (1945-03-18) (age 64)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Radio talk show host
Spouse(s) Pamela Gail Putnam (m. 1970–1971) «start: (1970)–end+1: (1972)»"Marriage: Pamela Gail Putnam to Michael Reagan" Location: (linkback:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Reagan)
Colleen Sterns (m. 1975–present) «start: (1975)»"Marriage: Colleen Sterns to Michael Reagan" Location: (linkback:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Reagan)
Parents Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)
Jane Wyman (1917-2007)

Michael Edward Reagan (born March 18, 1945) is an American radio host and Republican strategist. His nationally-syndicated radio show, The Michael Reagan Talk Show, airs on stations throughout the United States on American Family Radio, after a long stint on Radio America. Despite his successful media career, Reagan is perhaps best known as the adopted son of the late President Ronald Reagan. As of Spring 2008, Talkers Magazine estimates Reagan's audience at one million listeners.[1]

Contents

Early life

He was born in Los Angeles, California to Irene Flaugher (born 1916[2]- died December 26, 1985[3]), a single woman from Kentucky[4] who became pregnant through an affair with an army corporal named John Bourgholtzer (died 1993), and was adopted by Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman shortly after his birth.

Reagan grew up in Beverly Hills, California, and later nearby Pacific Palisades. One childhood story he has told that introduced him to politics was how at the age of eight, he asked his father for a raise in his allowance. At the time, around 1953, his allowance was $1.00 a week. The elder Reagan said that since he was paying 90 percent of his earnings to the federal government as income tax, he was not able to increase his son's allowance. His father further said that when the President would give him a tax cut, then he could give his son an increase in his allowance. This, according to Michael Reagan, was how he was introduced to the subject of tax cuts and how that affected people.[5]

At his high school graduation, his father introduced himself by saying, "My name is Ronald Reagan. What's yours?". He replied, "I'm your son, Mike."[6]

Marriages and family

Sometime prior to September 1970, Michael Reagan was working as a salesman for the clothing company Hart, Schaffner & Marx. He then became a director of special events catering at Michaelson Food Service Company in Los Angeles. It was while in this last job that he announced his engagement to Pamela Gail Putnam (born 1952), an aspiring dental assistant.[7] Pamela was the daughter of Duane Putnam, who was then the Atlanta Falcons football line coach. The couple married later that year, but were divorced in 1971.

He married Colleen Sterns, an interior decorator, in 1975.[8] Together, they have two children, son Cameron and daughter Ashley, and reside in the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles.[9]

Media career

As a young man, Reagan raced boats and later also sold them at a Sea Ray boat dealership in Van Nuys, California. He set world records in power boat racing,[10] and raised more than $1.5 million for charities like the United States Olympic Team, Cystic Fibrosis and Juvenile Diabetes Foundations and the Statue of Liberty Restoration Fund through his race team. His efforts were recognized when he became a recipient of the Victor Award for outstanding sports and humanitarian achievement.

Michael Reagan addresses sailors of the USS Ronald Reagan, 2002

His first entertainment broadcast job was as a game show host, in charge of the original syndicated version of Lingo, which was taped in Canada but broadcast in the United States. The show lasted only for the 1987-1988 season, and Reagan left the show before its demise in the wake of financial problems with the show's producers.

In the mid-1970s Reagan began his radio career with "On Energy". His big break in talk radio started in the Southern California local market as a guest host for Michael Jackson's[11] talk radio show slot on KABC in Los Angeles. After this beginning, he landed a talk show spot on KSDO radio in San Diego, California. Reagan's rating success in the San Diego market gave him the opportunity to take his talk show nationwide in 1992. Reagan continues to host his four-hour talk show, and also does public speaking to groups. He also delivers conservative commentary from time to time on cable television news programs such as the Fox News Channel as well as on the Internet for websites such as NewsMax.[9][12] He also wrote a book titled Twice Adopted in 2004. Reagan's radio program, The Michael Reagan Talk Show, is carried on numerous terrestrial stations, as well as on both major satellite-radio services, by Radio America, a conservative-oriented radio network.

In 1988, he authored with Joe Hyams an autobiographical book Michael Reagan: On The Outside Looking In.

In January 2009, Reagan's show was removed from the Radio America lineup and replaced by Roger Hedgecock.[13] Reagan said that he wished Hedgecock well and that he will continue syndication through American Family Radio.[14]

Controversial remarks

Reagan has interjected his broadcasts with provocative and, at times, controversial statements. Reacting to the Mark Foley scandal in 2006, Reagan said, "Any member of Congress who was aware of the sexual emails and protected the congressman should also resign effective immediately."[15] The liberal watch dog group Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting characterized statements by Reagan as "death threats" when he criticized Mark Dice and other individuals who sent letters and DVDs to US troops stationed in Iraq claiming that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were perpetrated by the U.S. government.[16] Reagan said, for instance, "We ought to find the people who are doing this, take them out and shoot them. Really. You take them out, they are traitors to this country, and shoot them.... I'll pay for the bullets." Reagan later apologized for these statements, saying they were "stupid".[17]

2008 Presidential election

Reagan supported Mitt Romney until he dropped out of the race on February 7, 2008. Eight days later Reagan announced his support for Senator John McCain of Arizona, comparing the nomination battle between Romney and McCain to the 1976 battle between Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford. Based on his father's actions after losing to Ford in 1976, Michael Reagan said that his father would have supported McCain.[18]

Reagan later expressed his support for McCain's running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, comparing her favorably to his father.[19]

After the McCain-Palin ticket was defeated by Democrats Barack Obama and Joseph Biden, Reagan opined that the loss was the fault of "the big-government, big-spending Republicans", and that the Republican Party's path to success would be to appeal to "values voters" such as those who opposed same-sex marriage.[20]

References

  1. ^ http://www.talkers.com/main/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=17&Itemid=34
  2. ^ Genealogy of Campbell Rice (includes Irene Flaugher) Accessed 7/4/2009.
  3. ^ People Magazine archives Dougherty, Margot and Lois Armstrong. "Binding Up the Wounds." People Magazine, 29, 11 (March 21, 1988). Accessed 7/4/2009.
  4. ^ http://kydgi.ky.gov:2005/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/ORP&CISOPTR=614&REC=2
  5. ^ Reagan, Michael; Hyams, Joe. Michael Reagan: On the Outside Looking In. Kensington Publishing Corporation, 1988.
  6. ^ "Family Outcast A Reagan Son Sadly Remembers Years of Neglect; Chicago Tribune, April 17, 1988
  7. ^ "Michael Reagan, Governor's Son, to Marry Miss Pamela Putnam", The New York Times, 22 September 1970
  8. ^ Four Reagans Used to Going Their Own Ways - TIME
  9. ^ a b premierspeakers.com
  10. ^ Biography of columnist Michael Reagan http://www.townhall.com/columnists/MichaelReagan
  11. ^ Not to be confused with the recording artist of the same name.
  12. ^ NewsMax Pundits. NewsMax.com.
  13. ^ Press release
  14. ^ http://www.reagan.com/
  15. ^ "Conservatives also seek Hastert's resignation". February 15, 2007. http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Conservatives_also_seek_Hastert_resignation_1002.html. 
  16. ^ http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,365401,00.html
  17. ^ "Talk Show Host Calls for Murder". Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting. 2008-06-24. http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=3552. Retrieved 2008-06-24. 
  18. ^ Ronald Reagan Would Back McCain http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=25026
  19. ^ "Welcome Back, Dad" Human Events, September 4, 2008
  20. ^ Reagan, Michael (November 13, 2008). "The Republican Party is a Grass-Roots Party". WHK. http://whkradio.townhall.com/columnists/MichaelReagan/2008/11/13/the_republican_party_is_a_grass-roots_party?page=full&comments=true. Retrieved 2008-11-17. 

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