Before he was President: Ronald Reagan

Ronald Wilson Reagan, 1981-1989 Actor, Radio Announcer
One of Reagan's first jobs was that of lifeguard at Lowell Park where he would arrive every morning at dawn, fetched 100 pound blocks of ice, stock the snack bar and, for the next 10 hours, watch swimmers negotiate the currents of the Rock River. During his six summers as lifeguard, he pulled 77 people from the water. He always went up and cut a notch in the log after he pulled someone out of the water. At the end of his service as a lifeguard there were 77 notches in the log. American Experience: Ronald Reagan

Reagan was a sports broadcaster at the University of Iowa, where he was paid $10 per game. He became a radio announcer before working as an announcer for the Chicago Cubs. He received his contract with Warner Brothers in 1937. Source

Reagan was struggling with his acting career when General Electric signed him to host a weekly television series, "GE Theater," at an annual salary of $125,000. Every Sunday evening, Ronald Reagan visited Americans in their living rooms. American Experience: Ronald Reagan

George Herbert Walker Bush, 1989-1993 WW2 pilot
After serving as a pilot during World War 2 George Herbert Walker Bush went to Yale on the G.I. Bill. Perhaps thanks in part to the military paying for his college education, Bush still had the $3,000.00 he had saved up during his military service. After being turned down by Proctor and Gamble Bush got a entry level clerking job at a oil drilling company based in Texas and was paid $375.00 per month.

Bush, his wife Barbara, and young son moved into a home where they shared a bathroom with the other tenants. Then 1950 George and Barbara bought their first home for $7,500.00 in an area nicknamed Easter Egg Row. The name came from the fact that all the houses looked so much alike that the owners would paint them bright colors in order to tell them apart.

William Jefferson Clinton, 1993-2001 lawyer, governor of Arkansas
Both Bill Clinton's biological father and his step father worked as car salesmen. An excellent student, Clinton did receive one blemish on his academic record in elementary school. A nun gave him a "D" grade for his deportment because she believed Clinton did not give the other students ample opportunity to answer her questions.

More stories: Duncan Hines   George Washington   Thomas Jefferson   Benjamin Franklin   James Garfield   Harry Truman   Henry Ford

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