Tags: Former | Reagan | Aide | Donald | Regan | Dies

Former Reagan Aide Donald Regan Dies

Tuesday, 10 June 2003 12:00 AM

A World War II-era Marine, Regan was known for a sometimes-autocratic style that, while serving him well as a secretary of the Treasury, created problems when he and White House Chief of Staff James A. Baker III swapped jobs in 1985. Once inside the White House, Regan's strong management style created conflicts with the president's inner circle, most notably with first lady Nancy Reagan, who is widely viewed as having been the driving force behind Regan's 1987 resignation.

It was during Regan's time as chief of staff that Reagan and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev met for the first of many high-level summits. Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, the two world leaders inaugurated a personal relationship that had much to do with ending the Cold War.

It was during his tenure that the seeds of the scandal later known as the Iran-Contra affair were sown. Though Regan was never accused of having actively participated in prohibited activities, the three-man commission appointed by the president to investigate the matter blamed him for the "chaos" inside the White House that allowed the elements to occur.

Regan resigned in February 1987 and was replaced by former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker.

As Treasury secretary, Regan played an important role in securing passage of the landmark 1981 Reagan tax cuts that reduced marginal tax rates across the board and sparked a period of record economic growth.

Treasury Secretary John Snow said in a statement that Regan "will be remembered as a great Treasury secretary and an innovative leader of the American business community. Many at Treasury will miss him."

Regan, in his memoirs, revealed that Mrs. Reagan had consulted with an astrologer while her husband was president. The revelation, which proved embarrassing to the first couple, was widely considered payback for her role in his ouster.

Upon learning of Regan's death, however, Mrs. Reagan expressed sadness. "From the Marine Corps to Wall Street to the Treasury Department to the White House, Don served this country with great distinction," she said.

In 1946, Regan began his career in finance as an account executive trainee with Merrill Lynch, rising through the ranks to become board chairman and chief executive officer of the firm from 1971 until 1980, when he left to join the Reagan administration.

Regan led Merrill Lynch into public ownership and broadened it into a full-service financial provider. According to a company statement, the hallmark of his tenure and a "major step" in the firm's evolution was the 1977 creation of "the innovative, ground-breaking Cash Management Account, which brought all customer assets under a single account."

Edward F. Ryan, Regan's longtime friend, fellow Marine and training school classmate, and Merrill Lynch's first chief financial officer, cited Regan's "natural instincts to be a leader," in a statement released by the company. "He had a good overall grasp of where Merrill Lynch was to go. He was not easily deterred by potholes in the road," Ryan said.

Born in Cambridge, Mass., Regan joined the Marine Corps in 1940. Assigned to the Pacific, Regan saw action in five major campaigns, including Guadalcanal, the North Solomons and Okinawa. In his final assignment he commanded a 1,200-man anti-aircraft battalion. He retired at war's end as a lieutenant colonel.

Regan is survived by his wife, the former Ann Buchanan, and four children.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

All rights reserved.

© 2020 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


   
1Like our page
2Share
Pre-2008
A World War II-era Marine, Regan was known for a sometimes-autocratic style that, while serving him well as a secretary of the Treasury, created problems when he and White House Chief of Staff James A. Baker III swapped jobs in 1985. Once inside the White House, Regan's...
Former,Reagan,Aide,Donald,Regan,Dies
561
2003-00-10
Tuesday, 10 June 2003 12:00 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved