Michael Reagan

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Michael Edward Reagan (born March 18, 1945) is a former American radio host and Republican strategist. His nationally-syndicated radio show, The Michael Reagan Talk Show, aired 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

Reagan was born in 1945 in Los Angeles, California to Irene Flaugher, a 29-year old unwed woman from Kentucky. He was born into a broken family; his father was only 16 years old and a habitual juvenile delinquent, having been detained in juvenile hall several times. His mother, who was 13 years older than his father, had no education. His parents fought frequently, and just several months after Michael was born, his father dropped out of the family and never returned. He was adopted by Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman shortly after his birth.

Reagan grew up with his adoptive parents 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.[2]

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."[3]

According to Nancy Reagan in her memoirs published in 1989, Michael disclosed to President Reagan and Nancy in 1987 a very painful incident in his boyhood which he had kept secret for many years. "At the age of eight, he had been sexually molested by a camp counselor, who had also taken nude pictures of him... Poor Mike had spent his whole life racked with guilt and in constant fear that these pictures would someday surface in a way that might embarrass him and, especially, his adoptive father."[4] Speaking at the opening of the Michael Reagan Center in Spring, Texas, Octorber 7, 2005, Reagan said, "At 8 years old, I thought I was going to hell." Reagan said the experience drastically changed him: "I cussed God and his son. I wanted to do anything I could to earn my way into hell." Reagan said he was horrified that the pictures would be made public and ruin the lives of his family.[5]

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