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Neil with his baby brother, Ronald, c. 1912
|Born||John Neil Reagan
September 16, 1908
Tampico, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||December 11, 1996
Goshen, Indiana, U.S.
and Nelle Wilson
|Relatives||Ronald Reagan (younger brother)|
Neil Reagan was baptized as a Roman Catholic, the faith of his father. As an infant, he attended his mother's church, but later became affiliated with his father's religion. His younger brother was baptized and raised in their mother's Disciples of Christ church. Neil was described as a boisterous and gregarious personality in his youth. In 1933, Neil graduated Eureka College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. He followed his brother to California and established a career as a television producer and advertising executive.
From the 1930s through the 1950s, Neil Reagan directed the radio series Dr. Christian, starring Jean Hersholt. In between he launched a brief Hollywood career as a supporting actor in films such as Tugboat Annie Sails Again (1940) and Doughboys in Ireland (1943). Neil Reagan directed Ronald Reagan in the television series Death Valley Days.
He served as president of both the Hollywood and Los Angeles advertising clubs, and also served on numerous community and professional boards including: the Crippled Children's Society of Los Angeles, the Kennedy Child Study Center in Santa Monica, and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. He was an alternate delegate to the 1972 Republican National Convention from California, and a delegate to the 1980 Republican National Convention. Neil Reagan served two terms as trustee of Eureka College before his death in December 1996.
The Reagan Physical Education Center on the Eureka College campus was dedicated in 1970 in honor of both Ronald and Neil Reagan. Twelve years later, Ronald Reagan would return to the Reagan Center to make one of his most important foreign policy speeches of his first term known as the START speech, or Eureka speech.
His wife, Bess Reagan (February 25, 1908 – October 22, 2010), died at the age of 102. The couple had no children.
- Doughboys in Ireland (1943)
- Yager (2006), p. 63
- Harmer (2002), p. 110
- Watson (2007), p. 457.
- Yager (2006), p. 64
- Profile, imdb.com; accessed September 2, 2015.
- Harmer, John, Reagan: Man of Principle, Cedar Fort, 2002, ISBN 1-55517-619-4
- Watson, Robert W., White House Studies Compendium, Volume 1, Nova Publishers, 2007, ISBN 1-60021-521-1
- Yager, Edward M., Ronald Reagan's Journey: Democrat to Republican, Rowman & Littlefield, 2006, ISBN 0-7425-4421-4