Michael Reagan

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Michael Reagan
Michael Reagan by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Reagan in 2017
Born (1945-03-18) March 18, 1945 (age 77)
OccupationRadio talk show host, writer
Political partyRepublican
  • Pamela Gail Putnam
    (m. 1971; div. 1972)
  • Colleen Sterns
    (m. 1975)

Michael Edward Reagan (born March 18, 1945)[4] is an American political commentator, Republican strategist,[5] and former radio talk show host. He is the adopted son of former U.S. president Ronald Reagan and his first wife, actress Jane Wyman. He works as a columnist for Newsmax.[1]

Early life[edit]

Michael Edward Reagan was born John Charles Flaugher at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles to Essie Irene Flaugher[6][7] (October 18, 1916[8] – December 26, 1985),[9] an unmarried woman from Kentucky[10] who became pregnant through a relationship with John Bourgholtzer, a U.S. Army corporal. He was adopted by Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman shortly after his birth.[11]

He was expelled from Loyola High School after a short period of time at the school[11] and in 1964, he graduated from the Judson School, a boarding school outside of Scottsdale, Arizona.[12] He attended Arizona State University for less than one semester and Los Angeles Valley College[13][14] but never graduated.

In 1965, the FBI warned Ronald Reagan that in the course of an organized crime investigation it had discovered his son Michael was associating with the son of crime boss Joseph Bonanno, which would have become a campaign issue had it been publicly known. Reagan thanked the FBI and said he would tell his son to discreetly discontinue the association.[15]



Sometime prior to September 1970, 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.[13] In 1981, Reagan was hired as a salesman for Industrial Circuits, a circuit board company owned by Robert Herring Sr.[1]


Reagan has had small roles in movies and television shows since 1985, including Falcon Crest, which starred his mother, Jane Wyman.[16]


In 1987, Reagan served as the host for the first season of the television game show Lingo.[17]


His work in talk radio started in the Southern California local market as a guest host for radio commentator Michael Jackson's talk radio show slot on KABC in Los Angeles.[18] After this beginning, he landed a talk show spot on KSDO radio in San Diego.[19]

Reagan also hosted The Michael Reagan Show nationwide for most of the 2000s. The show was variously syndicated on Premiere Networks[18] and Radio America.[20] Since then he has focused on public speaking about his father.[21]


In 1988, he wrote, with Joe Hyams, an autobiography, Michael Reagan: On the Outside Looking In.[22] He also wrote that he was sexually abused at the age of seven by a camp counselor.[23][24]

In 2005, he wrote Twice Adopted about his feelings of rejection being adopted, parents divorcing and becoming a born-again Christian.[11]

Political commentary[edit]

Same-sex marriage[edit]

In April 2013, in a syndicated column, Reagan accused American churches of not fighting hard enough to block same-sex marriage. He wrote that, in regard to arguments supporting gay marriage, similar arguments could be used to support polygamy, bestiality, and murder. As he wrote: "There is also a very slippery slope leading to other alternative relationships and the unconstitutionality of any law based on morality. Think about polygamy, bestiality, and perhaps even murder."[25]

Call for the execution of Mark Dice[edit]

In June 2008, Mark Dice launched a campaign urging people to send letters and DVDs to US troops stationed in Iraq which support the theory that the September 11 attacks were an "inside job". "Operation Inform the Soldiers", as Dice has called it, prompted Reagan to comment that Dice should be executed for treason.[26] Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a liberal/progressive media criticism organization, asked Radio America at the time to explain whether it permits "its hosts to call for murder on the air".[27]

Support for profiling[edit]

He spoke out in support of profiling in October 2014. In a piece called Profile or Die, he wrote that it would be left to citizens to defend themselves if there were an attack against them by terrorists such as the Islamic State.[28]

Legal problems[edit]

In 1981, Reagan was accused of felony violations of California securities laws in court documents. The Los Angeles County District Attorney alleged that Reagan had baited investors into unlawful stock arrangements, and selling stocks despite the fact that he was not legally permitted to do so.[29] The D.A.'s office investigated allegations that Reagan improperly spent money invested by others in a company, Agricultural Energy Resources, he operated out of his house in a venture to develop the potential of gasohol, a combination of alcohol and gasoline. Investigators said they were also checking whether he had spent up to $17,500 of investors' money for his living expenses.[29] The district attorney's office cleared Reagan of both charges later that year.[30]

On September 20, 2012, Reagan, Tim Kelly and Jay Hoffman were sued by a fellow partner, for allegedly withholding the partner's interest in an e-mail business built around the Reagan.com domain name.[31][32][33] In 2015, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury found Reagan liable for conversion and breach of fiduciary duty. Reagan and his business partners were ordered to pay $662,500 each in damages.[34]

Personal life[edit]

In June 1971, Reagan married Pamela Gail Putnam (born 1952), daughter of Duane Putnam, former Atlanta Falcons football line coach.[13] The couple divorced in 1972.

He married Colleen Sterns, an interior decorator, in 1975 at The Church on the Way.[14] They have two children, Cameron and Ashley. Reagan and his wife live in the Toluca Lake area of Los Angeles.[35]

In January 2011, he called his adoptive brother Ron Reagan, the biological son of Ronald Reagan and his second wife, Nancy Davis Reagan, "an embarrassment" for speculating in a memoir that their father suffered from Alzheimer's disease while president.[36]


  1. ^ a b c Shiffman, John (October 7, 2021). "The tech entrepreneur who founded Trump's go-to TV news network". Reuters.
  2. ^ Mehta, Seema (January 7, 2010). "Reagan grandson arrested in Van Nuys". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  3. ^ Edwards, Anne (2004). The Reagans: Portrait of a Marriage. London, England: St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 0312331177.
  4. ^ Birth Date March 18, 1945 information sourced from Library of Congress Authorities data, via corresponding WorldCat Identities linked authority file (LAF).
  5. ^ Kraushaar, Josh (August 26, 2013). "Mark Reardon: Republican Strategist Michael Reagan". CBS St. Louis. Retrieved April 22, 2017.
  6. ^ Reagan, Michael; Denney, James D.; Denney, Jim (2004). Twice Adopted. Nashville, Tennessee: B&H Publishing Group. pp. 1–4. ISBN 978-0-8054-3144-5. Retrieved December 30, 2020.
  7. ^ "Kentucky, Vital Record Indexes, 1911-1999," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QKHP-4JHN : February 11, 2018), Essie I Flaugher, October 18, 1916; citing Birth, Carter, Kentucky, United States, Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, Frankfort.
  8. ^ "Genealogy of Campbell Rice". familytreemaker.genealogy.com. Retrieved July 4, 2009.
  9. ^ Dougherty, Margot; Armstrong, Lois. "Binding Up the Wounds". People. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  10. ^ "Irene Flaugher, birth mother of Michael Reagan". Kentucky Historical Society. April 9, 2006. Archived from the original on September 28, 2009. Retrieved August 4, 2020.
  11. ^ a b c Reagan, Michael (2005). Twice Adopted: An Important Social Commentator Speaks to the Cultural Ailments Threatening America Today. Nashville, Tennessee: B&H Books. p. 168. ISBN 0805431446.
  12. ^ Lavin, Cheryl (April 17, 1988). "Family Outcast: A Reagan Son Sadly Remembers Years Of Neglect". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois: Tribune Media Services. Retrieved February 5, 2011.
  13. ^ a b c "Michael Reagan, Governor's Son, to Marry Miss Pamela Putnam" (PDF). The New York Times. September 22, 1970. Retrieved August 24, 2014.
  14. ^ a b Barrett, Laurence I.; Wallis, Claudia (January 5, 1981). "Four Reagans Used to Going Their Own Ways". Time. Archived from the original on January 14, 2009. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  15. ^ Rosenfield, Seth (2013). Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power. London, England: Picador. p. 297. ISBN 978-1250033383.
  16. ^ "Michael Reagan". IMDb. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  17. ^ White, Peter (February 11, 2022). RuPaul Charles To Host CBS Reboot Of Word Quiz ‘Lingo’. Deadline. Retrieved May 1, 2022.
  18. ^ a b Michaelson, Judith (January 29, 2000). "Michael Reagan Finds a Home on L.A.'s KIEV". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  19. ^ Brass, Kevin (January 30, 1992). "KSDO Replaces Michael Reagan With Rush Limbaugh". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  20. ^ Staff (October 28, 2008). "Roger Hedgecock Goes Daily with Radio America" (Press release). Lubbock, Texas: KCBD. Archived from the original on April 26, 2014. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  21. ^ Cronin, Melissa (November 19, 2014). "Racist Reagan! Son of Former President Caught in Scandal Over Hateful Rants About 'Mexican A**holes' & Muslims". Radaronline.com. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  22. ^ Reagan, Michael; Hyams, Joe (1988). Michael Reagan: On the Outside Looking In. New York City: Kensington Publishing Corporation. ISBN 0821723928.
  23. ^ McDowell, Edwin (May 2, 1987). "REAGAN'S SON TELLS OF ABUSE AS A YOUTH BY MAN AT CAMP". The New York Times. New York City. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  24. ^ Beutler, Brian (October 2, 2006). "Conservatives also seek Hastert's resignation". The Raw Story. Washington DC: Raw Story Media, Inc.
  25. ^ Reagan, Michael (April 2, 2013). "Churches: Time to fight back". Ironton Tribune. Ironton, Ohio: Boone Newspapers. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  26. ^ "Alex Jones interviews Mark Dice over Mike Reagan death threat constroversy". The Alex Jones Show. June 13, 2008. Retrieved August 30, 2014.
  27. ^ "Talk Show Host Calls for Murder". FAIR. June 24, 2008. Retrieved August 30, 2014.
  28. ^ Reagan, Michael (October 24, 2014). "Profile, or Die". Townhall.com. Retrieved January 18, 2015.
  29. ^ a b Lindsey, Robert (February 11, 1981). "Reagan's Elder Son Being Investigated". The New York Times. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  30. ^ Lindsey, Robert (November 21, 1981). "Michael Reagan Cleared of Stock Fraud Charge". The New York Times. New York City. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  31. ^ Reynolds, Matt (September 20, 2012). "Ousted by Reagan's Son, Entrepreneur Says". Courthouse News Service. Retrieved January 15, 2013.
  32. ^ Schreiber, John (November 5, 2014). "Lawsuit alleges Ronald Reagan's adopted son cheated businessman out of $4 million". MyNewsLA. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  33. ^ Schreiber, John (January 15, 2015). "Ronald Reagan's son allegedly cheated businessman out of $4 million". MyNewsLA. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  34. ^ Schreiber, John (January 28, 2015). "Ronald Reagan's son, partners to pay $600K to settle business dispute". MyNewsLA. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  35. ^ "Motivational Speakers/Michael Reagan". Premier Speakers Bureau. 2010. Retrieved February 20, 2011.
  36. ^ Hohmann, James (January 15, 2011). "Mike Reagan calls brother, Ron Reagan, an 'embarrassment'". Politico. Retrieved October 15, 2014.

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