Nancy Davis Reagan is the widow of the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan. She was First Lady of the United States from 1981 to 1989.
Nancy was born in New York City. Her parents divorced and she grew up in Maryland, living with an aunt and uncle for some years.
She lived her first two years in Flushing, Queens, in New York, in a two-story house on Roosevelt Avenue. While her parents divorced soon after her birth, they had already been separated for some time. As her mother traveled the country to pursue acting jobs, Nancy was raised in Bethesda, Maryland, for the next six years by her aunt Virginia and uncle Audley Gailbraith.
Nancy Reagan became the First Lady of the United States when Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as president in January 1981. Early in her husband's presidency, Reagan stated her desire to create a more suitable "first home" in the White House, as the building had fallen into a state of disrepair following years of neglect. White House aide Michael Deaver described the second and third floor family residence as having "cracked plaster walls, chipped paint [and] beaten up floors"; rather than use government funds to renovate and redecorate, she sought private donations.In 1981, Nancy directed a major renovation of several White House rooms, including all of the second and third floors and rooms adjacent to the Oval Office, including the press briefing room. The renovation included repainting walls, refinishing floors, repairing fireplaces, and replacing antique pipes, windows, and wires. The closet in the master bedroom was converted into a beauty parlor and dressing room, and the West bedroom was made into a small gymnasium.
The first lady secured the assistance of renowned interior designer Ted Graber, popular with affluent West Coast social figures, to redecorate the family living quarters. A Chinese-pattern, handpainted wallpaper was added to the master bedroom. Family furniture was placed in the president's private study. The first lady and her designer retrieved a number of White House antiques, which had been in storage, and placed them throughout the mansion.
The extensive redecoration was paid for by private donations. Many significant and long-lasting changes occurred as a result of the renovation and refurbishment, of which Nancy Reagan said, "This house belongs to all Americans, and I want it to be something of which they can be proud. "The renovations received some criticisms for being funded by tax-deductible donations, meaning some of it eventually did indirectly come from the tax-paying public.
My life really began when I married my husband.
She was married Ronald Reagan and has two children: Patti Davis and Ron Reagan.