Five Weeks After Having Been Shot and Almost Killed, Ronald Reagan is Pleased with Recovery

May 4, 1981

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Five Weeks After Having Been Shot and Almost Killed, Ronald Reagan is Pleased with Recovery
Autograph Letter Signed
1 page | SMC 890

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      Background

      The numbers aren’t good. >10% of American Presidents have been assassinated; 20%, the objects of assassination attempts. In the last century alone, more than half came under fire. Reagan, in fact, was shot in the chest and, had it not been for the fast-thinking of the Secret Service, would have bled to death. Instead, he became the only sitting president to have been shot and survive it. This letter is about his recovery from the assassination attempt which very nearly killed him…

      On the 69th day of his presidency, leaving a Washington hotel after a speaking engagement, a deranged young man, hoping to impress a popular actress, opened fire on the 70-year old Reagan. It only took three seconds between the first pop of gunfire to the door of the presidential limo slamming shut, and from there, just three minutes to the hospital, when it became apparent that Reagan hadn’t broken a rib being pushed to safety, but was near death from a gunshot wound. His emergency surgery lasted three hours; he’d lost almost half his blood – and the very next day, he was up, signing legislation. Here, five weeks later, he tells his old Hollywood friend, actor Glenn Ford

      I'm feeling fine and even surprising the Dr’s. which makes me feel even better.

      But Reagan’s recovery, while extraordinary, wasn’t that easy, or that fast. It took months and months before he was really himself. And something had changed. He’d faced his mortality, he said, and resolved to do those things that he believed in doing, for whatever time he had left.

      Autograph Letter Signed, as President, 1 page, quarto, The White House, no date [May 4, 1981] To Glenn Ford. With Autograph envelope.
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      THE WHITE HOUSE
      WASHINGTON

      Dear Glenn

      Thanks very much for your note & generous words.  

      I'm feeling fine and even surprising the Dr's. which makes me feel even better.

      Nancy sends her love & again thanks.

      Sincerely

      RON

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      Page 2 transcript
      THE WHITE HOUSE

      Mr. Glenn Ford
      911 Oxford Way
      Beverly Hills Calif.