After graduating from Eureka College in 1932, Reagan began his career as a radio announcer and became the voice of the Chicago Cubs. In 1937, he became an actor with a seven-year contract with Warner Brothers. As such, he was given many roles and ended up making about fifty movies. Some of his most famous included
Reagan played Notre Dame football player, George Gipp, in the movie Knute Rockne,
World War II
In 1935, Reagan had become part of the U.S. Army Reserve. He was called to active duty after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He served in the army from 1942 to 1945. He remained in Hollywood throughout the war, working for the Army Air Forces First Picture Unit. He narrated training films and rose to the level of captain before the war's end.
Burgeoning Political Career
Reagan was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild in 1947 and served until 1952, and again from 1959 to 1960. While he was president of the organization, Reagan testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee about communist influences in Hollywood. He gave names of individuals who he felt had communist ties and leanings to the FBI.
While Reagan had begun his adult life as a Democrat, by 1967 he was a Republican and won the governor's seat in California. He was reelected for a second term and served until 1975. He attempted to run for president in 1968 and 1976 but was not chosen either time by the Republican party. However, he had an extremely strong showing against incumbent Gerald Ford, setting up his nomination in 1980.