Maureen Reagan

Maureen Elizabeth Reagan (January 4, 1941 – August 8, 2001) was an American political activist and the first child of U.S. president Ronald Reagan and his first wife, actress Jane Wyman.[2] Her adoptive brother was Michael Reagan and her half-siblings were Patti Davis and Ron Reagan, from her father's second marriage (to Nancy Reagan).

Maureen Reagan
Maureen Reagan 1995.jpg
Reagan in 1995
Maureen Elizabeth Reagan

(1941-01-04)January 4, 1941
DiedAugust 8, 2001(2001-08-08) (aged 60)
Resting placeCalvary Catholic Cemetery and Mausoleum, Sacramento, California, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
John Filippone
(m. 1961; div. 1962)
(m. 1964; div. 1967)
Dennis C. Revell
(m. 1981)
Reagan with her mother, Jane Wyman (1944)

Early lifeEdit

Reagan was born January 4, 1941,[3] in Los Angeles, where she was raised. She graduated from Marymount Secondary School, Tarrytown, New York in 1958 and briefly attended Marymount University in Virginia.[4] She worked for Walker & Dunlop and entered the Miss Washington competition in 1959.[5]

Her parents also had another daughter, Christine, who died shortly after birth.

Acting careerEdit

Reagan pursued a career in acting in her youth, appearing in films such as Kissin' Cousins (1964) in which she featured alongside Elvis Presley.

Political activitiesEdit

Reagan spoke on behalf of Republican candidates throughout the country, including twenty appearances alone in 1967 for unsuccessful Mississippi gubernatorial nominee, Rubel Phillips, a former segregationist who ran that year on a platform of racial moderation.[6]

Reagan was the first son or daughter of a President to be elected cochair of the Republican National Committee.[7] However, both of her attempts at election to political office ended in defeat.[8] She ran unsuccessfully for the United States Senate from California in 1982 (which was eventually won by Pete Wilson) and in 1992 for California's 36th congressional district.[9]: 77–78 

Although they maintained a united front, Maureen Reagan differed from her father on several key issues. Although reared Roman Catholic following her mother's conversion, she was pro-choice on abortion.[9]: 77  She also held the belief that Oliver North should have been court-martialed.[10]

After her father announced his diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease in 1994, Maureen Reagan became a member of the Alzheimer's Association board of directors and served as the group's spokeswoman. While hospitalized for melanoma cancer towards the end of her life, Maureen was only floors away from her father who had suffered a severe fall.[11]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1960, Maureen's by-then divorced parents became concerned about her. Ronald Reagan used his connections at the FBI − established during his work as an anti-communist informant − to request the agency to investigate her romantic life. The agency did so on condition that the FBI not be cited as a source, and reported that she was living with an older, married man who was a police officer.[12]

Maureen Reagan was married three times:

  • John Filippone, a policeman; they were married in 1961 and divorced the following year.[13]
  • David G. Sills, a lawyer and Marine Corps officer; they married on February 28, 1964; the couple divorced in 1967.[13]
  • Dennis C. Revell, CEO of Revell Communications (a national public relations/public affairs firm), whom she married on April 25, 1981.[13] She and Revell adopted one daughter, Margaret "Rita" Mirembe Revell, who was born in Uganda.[1][14][15][16] The Revells became Rita's guardians in 1994. They adopted her in 2001.[1] Rita was the beneficiary of a private bill to facilitate her adoption as Maureen and Dennis Revell were unable to complete the necessary paperwork and other requirements by the Ugandan government, including a personal visitation to that country, due, in large part, to Maureen Reagan Revell's terminal cancer.[1][16][17][18]


Reagan died in Granite Bay, California, on August 8, 2001, aged 60, from melanoma.[4] She is interred at Calvary Catholic Cemetery and Mausoleum in Sacramento, California.[19]

Reagan volunteered with actor David Hyde Pierce, of TV's Frasier, at the Alzheimer's Association. At her funeral on August 19, 2001, Pierce spoke to the gathering at Cathedral of Blessed Sacrament in Sacramento, and recalled his friend's tireless devotion to fighting the mind-robbing illness. "When she was given lemons, she did not make lemonade. She took the lemons, threw them back and said, 'Oh, no you don't.'"[20]


  1. ^ a b c d "Mourning Maureen Reagan". Jet. Johnson Publishing Company. 100 (12): 18. September 3, 2001. ISSN 0021-5996.
  2. ^ "Biography". Oliver Del Signore. Retrieved January 16, 2011.
  3. ^ "UPI Almanac for Friday, Jan. 4, 2019". United Press International. January 4, 2019. Archived from the original on January 5, 2019. Retrieved September 4, 2019. author Maureen Reagan (daughter of former President Ronald Reagan), in 1941
  4. ^ a b Allen, Jane (August 9, 2001). "Maureen Reagan, 60, Dies of Cancer". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
  5. ^ "Jane Wyman's Daughter in 'Miss America' Bid But Wants It on Own". Variety. July 8, 1959. p. 2. Retrieved May 20, 2019 – via
  6. ^ Hathorn, Billy (November 1985). "Challenging the Status Quo: Ruby Lex Phillips and the Mississippi Republican Party (1963-1967)". The Journal of Mississippi History. XLVII (4): 260.
  7. ^ Wead, Doug (2003). All the Presidents' Children: Triumph and Tragedy in the Lives of America's First Families. Simon and Schuster. p. 155. ISBN 9780743451390 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ Hendrix, Steve (April 26, 2017). "Before Ivanka Trump, other presidential daughters also wielded influence at the White House". Washington Post. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Foerstel, Karen; Foerstel, Herbert N. (1996). "The Decade of the Woman: An Uncertain Promise". Climbing the Hill: Gender Conflict in Congress. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780275949143.
  10. ^ Reagan, Maureen (2001). "Iran-Contra". First Father, First Daughter: A Memoir. Little, Brown and Company. p. 374. ISBN 9780316736367.
  11. ^ "Family Misfortune". People. 55 (4). January 29, 2001. Retrieved January 23, 2009. A Fall Lands Ronald Reagan in the Same Hospital as His Cancer-Stricken Daughter
  12. ^ Seth Rosenfield (2013). Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power. Picador. ISBN 978-1250033383.
  13. ^ a b c "Daughter of President Is Married in California". New York Times. April 25, 1981. Retrieved January 17, 2011.
  14. ^ United States Congress. For the relief of Rita Mirembe Revell (a.k.a. Margaret Rita Mirembe). Open Library. OL 17718121M.
  15. ^ Congressional Record - Google Books. 1949. Retrieved September 5, 2011.
  16. ^ a b "Statement by the Press Secretary". July 19, 2001. Retrieved September 5, 2011.
  17. ^ 107th Congress (2001) (March 19, 2001). "S. 560 (107th)". Legislation. Retrieved April 8, 2013. A bill for the relief of Rita Mirembe Revell (a.k.a. Margaret Rita Mirembe).
  18. ^ Congressional Record. 1949. Retrieved September 5, 2011.
  19. ^ "Maureen Reagan". Notable Names Database. Retrieved September 13, 2005.
  20. ^ "Reagan's Daughter Mourned". NY Daily News. August 19, 2001. Retrieved January 14, 2010.[permanent dead link]

External linksEdit