Larry Elder

Elder: And, Mrs. Reagan, about you. Tell us a little bit about you growing up, any stories you want to tell us.

Reagan: Well, I was brought up in Chicago, and my father was a neurosurgeon. He was the first neurosurgeon in Chicago. And I was a nurse's aide, and I used to watch my father operate, which takes people a little aback when I say that. I graduated from school there, and then I went east to college, went to Smith College. Anything more than that? (laughs)

Elder: Ron Reagan, Mrs. Reagan, as you know, at one point was a Democrat, (who later) became a Republican. I sense, however, that you've always been a Republican, have always been conservative. Am I wrong?

Reagan: You know, I really wasn't anything, until I married Ronnie. I wasn't registered to vote. I knew nothing about politics, really nothing. So I can't claim to being really anything, or certainly having any influence over him. That I didn't.

Elder: Well, you were a quick study (laughter). Let's talk a little bit about the Ronald Reagan Library. Why is it so important?

Reagan: Well, it's so important because, on the West Coast, or the whole West area -- usually all these things are in the East, you know -- there's nothing in the West. So here it is, for all the children to take advantage of, and they can learn so much from it. They can learn, I mean, there's everything here: Ronnie's letters, everything about his life and my life.

Elder: And finally, Mrs. Reagan, a similar question to one of the ones I asked you earlier about your husband: Twenty-five years from now, 50 years from now, 100 years from now -- what do you want people to say about Nancy Reagan?

Reagan: I don't know. Gosh, I've never thought about that. I don't know. I hope they say something nice (laughs).

Elder: Thank you so much for your time. I appreciate it.

When the audio stopped rolling, I made a suggestion about her legacy -- that she loved her husband unconditionally, that she gave him confidence and the courage of his convictions, and that she maintained his spirit. She smiled and said, "Do you really think people will say that?"

Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit

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