HarperCollins to Publish Ronald Reagan’s Favorite Quotes and Jokes

Ronald Reagan

Former president Ronald Reagan was known for being a good speaker. He was also known for consulting note cards where he had written down sayings from the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill and others.

Now the public will get to read Mr. Reagan’s notes. Yahoo.com reports that the former president’s personal collection of ready-made expressions is being published May 10 as part of the ongoing centennial of his birth.

Letters received, or anecdotes read or overheard were duly handwritten down on note cards over the decades, as Reagan rose from an actor-turned spokesman for General Electric Co and then California governor and a two-term president. Reagan’s letters and diaries are already best-sellers and now his personal notes could end up on the list as well.

Reagan’s widow, former first lady Nancy Reagan, said in a statement released Wednesday by HarperCollins:

“Ronnie was always collecting quotes and sayings that he might want to include in a speech. He started when he was on the road with GE, and continued throughout his term as governor of California and his years in the WhiteHouse – even after he left Washington. He kept these handwritten cards in his desk and used them as he personalized and edited all of his speeches.”

The collection was edited by historian Douglas Brinkley, who also worked on Reagan’s diaries. The new book cites both the famous and the anonymous, the profound and the whimsical.

At one point he records Churchill: “Socialism is the philosophy of failure,” as well as an uncredited quip you might hear at a celebrity roast: “Some people are so indecisive their favorite color is plaid.”

The index cards were reportedly found last year, in a box marked in pen “RR’s desk,” according to the book’s introduction. The box was found at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California and all of the cards will be displayed at the library upon the book’s release.

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