Ronald Reagan was born in 1911 in Illinois. He began an acting career in both film and television but became involved in politics, making supporting speeches for candidates. He ran for governor of California and filled that office from 1967-1975. He turned his sights to the presidency and won the 1980 election, holding office for two terms.
Nancy Davis was born in 1921 and grew up in Maryland. She had a Hollywood career as an actress in the 1940s and 1950s.
They met in 1951 to talk over a business problem and went to dinner at a Sunset Strip restaurant. From then on they only had eyes for each other and dated exclusively until they married in 1952.
He proposed over dinner in February, 1952. It was a simple proposal. He said "Let's get married." She said "Let's."They were married the next month. It was a quiet, nearly secret wedding at the Little Brown Church in the Valley, just outside LA. William Holden and his wife Ardis were their only guests.
Throughout their years together they were public in their affection. They held hands and left each other love notes. They had pet names for each other. He called her "Mommy" and she called him "Ronnie".
Nancy had a great fear of horses but, to keep from being excluded from one of her husband's most loved pastimes, she took riding lessons from him to overcome her fear.
Following the assassination attempt in 1981 Nancy made this entry into her diary. "Nothing can happen to my Ronnie. My life would be over." He wrote in a letter to Nancy "whatever I treasure and enjoy ... all would be without meaning if I didn't have you."
In an interview with Vanity Fair just after the public announcement that Ronald Reagan suffered from Alzheimer's Disease, Nancy said, "Our relationship is very special. We were very much in love and still are. When I say my life began with Ronnie, well, it's true. It did. I can't imagine life without him."
She had become his protector following the assassination attempt and became even more so after his diagnosis.
Ronald Reagan died in 2004 at the age of 93.