Davis in 1983
Patricia Ann Reagan
October 21, 1952
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
(m. 1984; div. 1990)
Patricia Ann Reagan was born to Ronald and Nancy Reagan on October 21, 1952, in Los Angeles, California. She is the older sister of Ron Reagan, and the younger sister of Michael Reagan and the late Maureen Reagan. She went to grade school at The John Thomas Dye School in Bel Air, and graduated from the Orme School of Arizona in 1970. After considering Ohio University and several Midwestern colleges, she initially attended Northwestern University from 1970–71, where she studied creative writing and drama. She then went to the University of Southern California for two years. She changed her last name to her mother's maiden name, Davis, in an effort to have an independent career. She was active in the anti-nuclear movement before her father was elected president, and continued her activism through his term, stirring controversy and creating strife in the family. Davis is a critic of the Republican Party, which she has never been affiliated with.
Acting, modeling and writing careers
In the early 1980s, Davis acted in a few television shows before getting her first publishing deal. In 1986, she published her first novel, Home Front. She used elements of her own life to create a fictional story, and because of that the book became controversial and she was widely criticized. Following her second novel Deadfall, she wrote an autobiography called The Way I See It, in which she revealed many family dramas and secrets. She has since spoken publicly about how she regrets the form, but not the content, of the critique she presented in the book.
In the July 1994 issue of Playboy, Davis posed for the magazine with a full frontal pictorial. This issue of the magazine also displayed Davis on its front cover. This issue is considered to be one of the magazine's most controversial covers ever. Davis has posed for other magazines such as More in 2011. Playboy also issued a VHS tape as a complement to the 1994 issue.
When her father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, she began writing The Long Goodbye which was published in 2004. During that time, she began writing for magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times, Newsweek and Time. Her original screenplay, Spring Thaw, became the 2007 Hallmark Channel movie Sacrifices of the Heart starring Melissa Gilbert and Ken Howard.
In the 1970s, Davis lived with Eagles guitarist Bernie Leadon. By this time, her mother, Nancy Reagan, had infamously disowned her for living together with Leadon as an unmarried couple. Together, Davis and Leadon co-wrote the song "I Wish You Peace", which appeared on Eagles album One of These Nights. In the 1980s, she dated Timothy Hutton and later had a two-year relationship with Peter Strauss. In 1984, she married Paul Grilley, a yoga instructor and one of the founders of Yin Yoga. They divorced in 1990 and had no children.
In a September 20, 2018, op-ed for the Washington Post, Davis stated she was the victim of sexual assault nearly 40 years earlier at the hand of a studio executive. The op-ed was released the same week Christine Blasey Ford recounted an alleged sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Davis released the piece in support of Blasey Ford when she had been criticized for not remembering details of the alleged assault.
On August 1, 2019, Davis wrote an editorial in the Washington Post condemning comments made by her father about black Africans at the U.N. in a 1971 phone conversation with President Richard Nixon which Nixon taped. The tapes were publicly released the day prior. In the editorial, Davis wrote "There is no defense, no rationalization, no suitable explanation for what my father said on that taped phone conversation."
- Home Front. Crown, 1986. ISBN 0-517-55952-8. (quasi-novel)
- Deadfall. Crown, 1989. ISBN 0-517-57405-5. (novel)
- A House of Secrets. Carol, 1991. ISBN 1-55972-082-4. (quasi-novel)
- The Way I See It: An Autobiography. Putnam, 1992. ISBN 0-399-13748-3.
- Bondage. Simon & Schuster, 1994. ISBN 0-671-86953-1. (novel)
- Angels Don't Die: My Father's Gift of Faith. Harper Collins, 1995. ISBN 0-06-017324-6.
- The Long Goodbye. Knopf, 2004. ISBN 0-679-45092-0.
- Two Cats and the Woman They Own. Chronicle Books, 2006. ISBN 0-8118-5166-4.
- The Lives Our Mothers Leave Us. Hay House, 2009. ISBN 1401921620.
- Till Human Voices Wake Us. CreateSpace, KDP, 2013. ISBN 1483990044. (novel)
- The Blue Hour. CreateSpace, KDP, 2013. ISBN 1492144479. (novel)
- The Wit and Wisdom of Gracie. Huqua Press, 2014. ISBN 0-983812055
- The Earth Breaks in Colors. Huqua Press, 2014. ISBN 0-990696642 (novel)
- "Orme mourns the passing of Honorary Trustee, President Ronald Reagan". The Orme School. 2004. Archived from the original on May 13, 2013. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
- Podolsky, J.D. (May 18, 1992). "A Daughter's Lament". People. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
- Grove, Lloyd (Feb 3, 2011). "Patti Davis on Her Dad, Palin and Playboy". The Daily Beast. Retrieved Oct 16, 2014.
- Davis, Patty (April 30, 2019). "Dear Republicans: Stop using my father, Ronald Reagan, to justify your silence on Trump "you were a frequent guest at our dinner table — and an unwelcome one to me"". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
- Kornblum, Janet (16 November 2004). "Reagan daughter's new leaf". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
- "Patti Davis - First Daughter, July 1994 Cover Model".
- "Ronald Reagan's daughter Patti Davis poses nude at 58". Oakland Press. May 19, 2011. Retrieved Aug 30, 2014.
- Moses, Marilyn (28 February 2007). "Sacrifices of the Heart". The Hollywood Reporter. Associated Press. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
- "Patti Davis – Biography". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
- Weisman, Steven R. (1984). "Reagan's Daughter Married on Coat". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
- Davis, Patti (February 6, 2012). "My Turn: Patti Davis on the chains that break, the links that form in Alzheimer's". Los Angeles Times.
- Various authors (December 3, 2013). "The UCLA Alzheimer's and Dementia Care Program for Comprehensive, Coordinated, Patient-centered Care: Preliminary Data". National Center for Biotechnology Information.
- Fortin, Jacey (September 21, 2018). "Patti Davis, Ronald Reagan's Daughter, Tells Her Story of Sexual Assault". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- Joyce, Kathleen (September 22, 2018). "Patti Davis, Ronald Reagan's daughter, says she's sexual assault survivor in op-ed defending Kavanaugh's accuser". Fox News. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- Koning Beals, Rachel (September 22, 2018). "Op-ed from Reagan daughter Patti Davis reveals why she — and many victims — can't remember details of their sexual assault". Market Watch. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
- "Reagan's daughter: Trump lacks compassion - CNN Video" – via edition.cnn.com.
- Davis, Patti (August 1, 2019). "The Ronald Reagan who raised me would want forgiveness for his 'monkeys' remark". editorial. Washington Post.
- Reagan, Nancy. My Turn: The Memoirs of Nancy Reagan (1989), with William Novak. H. W. Brands Reagan: The Life (2015) p. 743 says "she wrote one of the most candid and at times self-critical memoirs in recent American political history."