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Ronald Reagan Dies

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Updated: October 28, 2005

10 year battle with Alzheimer's is over

Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States, died of pneumonia, a complication of Alzheimer's disease on saturday 5th June 2004 aged 93. He had announced in 1994 that he was suffering from the disease.

In that November 1994, he issued a public letter in which he announced: "I am one of the millions of Americans who will be afflicted with Alzheimer's disease . . . At the moment I feel just fine . . . Unfortunately, as Alzheimer's disease progresses, the family often bears a heavy burden. I only wish there was some way I could spare Nancy from this painful experience". He went on to say "..let me thank you, the American people, for giving me the great honor of allowing me to serve as your President. When the Lord calls me home, whenever that may be, I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future.

Ronald Reagan was well liked, even though his policies did not, of course, appeal to everyone. It was While he was in his second term of office that some psychologists began to detect possible signs of the disorder in his conversation, speech and behavior.

At a press conference President Regan was asked about his plans for talks with the Russians on space weapons. He seemed confused by the question and was unable initially to find the words. Nancy Reagan wispered loudly, "Tell them we're doing everything we can". "We're doing everything we can," echoed the President.

Ronald Reagan retired to California. He lived for ten years following his diagnosis and showed us that no-one, not even presidents of the United States are immune from Alzheimer's disease.

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