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Inside Politics

Tributes flow for Reagan

'The father of the modern conservative movement'


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President Bush speaks of Reagan's legacy.

CNN's Bruce Morton on the multifaceted life of Ronald Reagan.

CNN's Wolf Blitzer reports on the Reagan presidency.
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LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- The death of former President Ronald Reagan brought a wave of condolences from people around the world, all saddened with the passing of a man many considered an American hero for his work to end the Cold War.

The 40th president of the United States, Reagan died Saturday at his Bel Air estate surrounded by most of his family.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the actor-turned-politician who has followed in Reagan's footsteps said, "I did not just admire him, I was fortunate enough to know him. He was a hero to me."

Reagan was governor of California from 1967 to 1975. He was president from 1981 to 1989.

Democrats and Republicans alike had praise for Reagan.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, said "we lost the father of the modern conservative movement."

Secretary of State Colin Powell, who was Reagan's national security adviser in his second term, said he was "proud to be a soldier during his presidency as he restored the morale and fighting prowess of our armed forces."

"His smile, his optimism, his total belief in the ultimate triumph of democracy and freedom, and his willingness to act on that belief, helped end the Cold War and usher in a new and brighter phase of history," Powell said.

Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, called Reagan's love for country "infectious."

"Even when he was breaking Democrats' hearts, he did so with a smile and in the spirit of honest and open debate," Kerry said. "Despite the disagreements, he lived by that noble ideal that at 5 p.m. we weren't Democrats or Republicans; we were Americans and friends."

Reagan served as president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1947 to 1952 and again from 1959 to 1960.

Former President Jimmy Carter, the 39th president and the man who lost to Reagan in 1980, said in a statement from his hometown of Plains, Georgia, that Reagan was "a formidable political comapaigner who provided an inspration voice to America."

"He had unshakable beliefs and was able to express them effectively both in America and abroad," Carter said. "During the past ten years, Rosalynn and I have often conveyed to Nancy Reagan our friendship and admiration for her own great service, not only to her husband but to our nation."

SAG President Melissa Gilbert said Reagan served "at one of the most challenging moments in our union's history."

He served as television competed with the movies for the attention of audiences.

"It can be said that Ronald Reagan got his start in politics at Screen Actors Guild," Gilbert said. "He leaves behind an enduring legacy to this industry, as he does to the country as a whole."

The Rev. Dr. Billy Graham spoke of Reagan's faith.

"The president was a man of tremendous integrity, based on his religious belief," Graham said.

"I visited him and Nancy on numerous occasions in recent years and always had prayer with them. Though her husband was unable to communicate at times, Nancy would say, 'When you prayed, I think he knew you were here.' "


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