Ronald Reagan: The Great Communicator 

Ronald Reagan's Final Letter to the American People


Basic Information:
Date Sent: November 5, 1994
Reason Sent: This letter was sent by Reagan to the American people to inform them of his battle with Alzheimer's Disease. Reagan knew that as his disease progressed, he would be less and less able to be in the public eye. 
Effects: Reagan's final letter resonated in the hearts of both those who loved him and those who disagreed with him politically. It is his final direct communication with the American people.


Even though this was not a speech that Ronald Reagan delivered, it is included because it is Reagan's final communication with the American people. It is by far the shortest formal communication of Reagan's career. In many ways, this letter is shaping how Reagan chooses to be remembered. He briefly discussion his decision to make his disease public knowledge. He explains that he hoped in letting everyone know of his disease that it would raise awareness and help other families in their fight against Alzheimer's Disease. He continues and says that he is sorry for the burden his wife Nancy will have to bear and he wishes that he could save her from that burden. Reagan concludes with, "In closing 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 face it with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future. I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead." Ronald Reagan chose to be remembered as a compassionate, faithful, patriotic optimist. He faced this last stage of his life with grace and peace that transends understanding. This letter wraps up Reagan's life as "The Great Communicator" and shapes how Americans will remember him and reminds the American people of the man he was.