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  /  News   /  ‘I’m not whole without you’: Ronald and Nancy Reagan’s love story

‘I’m not whole without you’: Ronald and Nancy Reagan’s love story

(NewsNation) — It’s been 20 years since former President Ronald Reagan passed, but the love he had for his wife, Nancy, will be remembered as pure devotion that helped the then-commander in chief get through the hardest of political challenges.

She was his most trusted adviser and supporter, a role he reciprocated to her. Their love story will forever be etched at the White House. 

“Ronald Reagan was a very friendly man with one friend, and he married her,” George Will, a senior political contributor for NewsNation, said. 

This Saturday, NewsNation will air the 90-minute documentary film “Reagan: Portrait of a Presidency” about the life and legacy of President Ronald Reagan, narrated by actor Dean Cain. The documentary film will air from 9-10:30 p.m. ET (8-9:30 p.m. CT), followed by “Reagan: The Post Show,” with NewsNation senior political contributor George Will and chief Washington anchor Leland Vittert from 10:30-11 p.m. ET (9:30-10 p.m. CT). To find NewsNation on your screen, go to

When the two embarked on the White House, they faced intense scrutiny in the public eye, but their support toward one another never wavered, The Reagan Foundation, which was created by the former president, stated.

The two were often seen holding hands and showing each other affection, and there was a special “gaze” Nancy gave her husband when he spoke, the Foundation said. More than anything they were “best friends.” 

“Their happiest moments weren’t in the spotlight. They were happiest when they were eating a TV dinner on the couch and watching a movie together just laughing and enjoying each other’s company,” their son Ron has said, reported Time. 

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Their struggles were never “his” and “hers,” but only “ours,” reported the outlet. The two overcame working through the challenges of raising a blended family, political stress and healing from an assassination attempt in 1981. 

After the president nearly died, the first lady became obsessed with taking precautions to ensure her husband’s safety, reported People.

“She was extremely focused. She would not let anyone use or harm ‘Ronnie,’ that was it,” Will said.

As Reagan began to succumb more and more to Alzheimer’s, which led him to rapidly lose memories, Nancy continued to love him and care for him until he died. 

How Ronald Reagan’s flexibility calmed political storms

He wrote countless letters to his wife, and she would leave love notes for him around the White House, according to his Foundation.  

In a letter to Nancy on their 31st wedding anniversary, he wrote, “I more than love you, I’m not whole without you. You are life itself to me. When you are gone I’m waiting for you to return so I can start living again.”

The sentiment was just as strong for Nancy, who wrote about her husband after his passing.

“If either of us ever left the room, we both felt lonely. People don’t always believe this, but it’s true. Filling the loneliness, completing each other — that’s what it still meant to us to be husband and wife.”