Maureen Reagan

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Maureen Reagan
Robert Urich Maureen Reagan and Jack Hogan.jpg
Maureen Reagan (center) with Robert Urich (left) and Jack Hogan (right) in a publicity photo for the television show Vector, 1974
Born Maureen Elizabeth Reagan
(1941-01-04)January 4, 1941
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Died August 8, 2001(2001-08-08) (aged 60)
Granite Bay, California, U.S.
Religion Roman Catholic
Spouse(s) John Filippone (m. 1961–62)
David Sills (m. 1964–67)
Dennis C. Revell (m. 1981–2001)
Parents Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)
Jane Wyman (1917-2007)

Maureen Elizabeth Reagan (January 4, 1941 – August 8, 2001) was the first child of Ronald Reagan and his first wife, Jane Wyman.[2] Her siblings were Michael Reagan (adopted); a sister, Christine, who died shortly after birth, and—from her father's second marriage to Nancy DavisPatti Davis and Ron Reagan.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Reagan graduated from Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles and briefly attended Marymount University.[3]

Acting career[edit]

Reagan pursued a career in acting in her youth, appearing in films such as Kissin' Cousins (1964) with Elvis Presley.[4] She also sang and performed in sketches on a January 28, 1971 episode of The Dean Martin Show.

Political activities[edit]

Reagan was involved with the Republican Party and worked as a political activist, radio talk show host, commentator and health care advocate. Her most active political years were in the 1980s, during her father's presidency, when she was a member of the California World Trade Commission, chairwoman of the United States delegation to the United Nations' Decade for Women Conference in Kenya, in 1985; co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, and chairwoman of the Republican Women's Political Action League.[citation needed]

Reagan spoke on behalf on Republican candidates throughout the country, including twenty appearances alone in 1967 for an unsuccessful Mississippi gubernatorial nominee, Rubel Phillips, a former segregationist who ran that year on a platform of racial moderation.[5]

Reagan was the first daughter of a president to run for political office,[6] but both of her attempts at election ended in defeat. She ran unsuccessfully for the United States Senate from California in 1982 - Pete Wilson was the eventual winner - and in 1992 for California's 36th congressional district.[7]

Although they maintained a united front, Maureen Reagan differed from her father on several key issues. Although reared Roman Catholic following her mother's conversion, she was pro-choice on abortion.[8] She also held the belief that Oliver North should have been court-martialed.[9]

After her father announced his diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease in 1994, Maureen Reagan became a member of the Alzheimer's Association board of directors and served as the group’s spokeswoman. During her hospitalization for melanoma cancer, Maureen was only floors away from her father, who had suffered a severe fall.[10]

Reagan served on the Board of Trustees of her father's alma mater, Eureka College, in Eureka, Illinois, from March 2000 until her death. On May 9, 2000, she was the speaker at the dedication of the Ronald Reagan Peace Garden on campus. The Reagan Peace Garden recognized her father's contribution to the end of the Cold War. It had been raining all day during several other speeches, but when she stepped to the lectern the sun broke through. She opened her remarks to the crowd of more than 1,000 by saying, "the sun always shines on Ronald Reagan".[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

She was married three times:

  • John Filippone, a policeman; they were married in 1961 and divorced in 1962.
  • David G. Sills, a lawyer and Marine Corps officer; they married on February 28, 1964 and divorced in 1967.
  • Dennis C. Revell, whom she married in April 25, 1981.[11] She and Revell had one daughter, (Margaret) Rita Mirembe Revell, who was born in Uganda.[12][13][14][15] The Revells became her guardians in 1994, and they adopted her in 2001.[1]

Death[edit]

Maureen Reagan died in Granite Bay, California, on August 8, 2001, aged 60, from melanoma. She was survived by her husband, her daughter, her parents and her siblings.

Reagan volunteered with actor David Hyde Pierce, of TV's Frasier, at the Alzheimer’s Association. At her funeral on August 19, 2001, Pierce spoke to the gathering at Cathedral of Blessed Sacrament in Sacramento, California and recalled his friend's tireless devotion to fighting the mind-robbing illness. "When she was given lemons, she did not make lemonade. She took the lemons, threw them back and said, 'Oh, no you don't.'"[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Mourning Maureen Reagan". Jet (Johnson Publishing Company) 100 (12): 18. September 3, 2001. ISSN 0021-5996. 
  2. ^ "Biography". Oliver Del Signore. Retrieved 2011-01-16. 
  3. ^ Allen, Jane (August 9, 2001). "Maureen Reagan, 60, Dies of Cancer". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  4. ^ "Maureen Reagan". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2009-01-23. 
  5. ^ Billy Hathorn, "Challenging the Status Quo: Rubel Lex Phillips and the Mississippi Republican Party (1963-1967)", The Journal of Mississippi History XLVII, November 1985, No. 4, p. 260
  6. ^ Doug Wead, All the Presidents' Children: Triumph and Tragedy in the Lives of America's First Families. Atria Books (2003). p. 155.
  7. ^ Foerstel, Karen; Herbert N. Foerstel (1996). "The Decade of the Woman: An Uncertain Promise". Climbing the Hill: Gender Conflict in Congress. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 77–78. ISBN 9780275949143. 
  8. ^ Foerstel 1996, p. 77.
  9. ^ Reagan, Maureen (2001). "Iran-Contra". First Father, First Daughter: A Memoir. Little, Brown and Company. p. 374. ISBN 9780316736367. 
  10. ^ "Family Misfortune". People (magazine). 2001-01-29. Vol. 55 No. 4. Retrieved 2009-01-23. "A Fall Lands Ronald Reagan in the Same Hospital as His Cancer-Stricken Daughter" 
  11. ^ "Daughter of President Is Married in California". New York Times. April 25, 1981. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  12. ^ United States. Congress. House... "For the relief of Rita Mirembe Revell (a.k.a. Margaret Rita Mirembe)". Open Library. Retrieved 2011-09-05. 
  13. ^ Congressional Record - Google Books. Retrieved 2011-09-05. 
  14. ^ "Statement by the Press Secretary". Georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov. 2001-07-19. Retrieved 2011-09-05. 
  15. ^ "Mourning Maureen Reagan | Jet | Find Articles". at BNET. 2001-09-03. Retrieved 2011-09-05. 
  16. ^ "Reagan's Daughter Mourned". nydailynews.com. 2001-08-19. Retrieved 2010-01-14. 

External links[edit]