About Collecting Ronald Reagan Autographs
As an actor, both Ronald Reagan and his mother responded to his fan letters with ALS's, and her handwriting somewhat resembles his. He handled almost all of his correspondence from the end of his film career until he became governor of California. In that office, he often hand-wrote drafts of his letters for his secretary to type, sent out the typed copies with his signature appended, and retained the drafts. Many of these ALS drafts have survived, some with a line drawn through them to indicate they have been completed. But more than other presidents, the tone of the letters, whether official or personalized, often provide a clue as to whether they were authentically or mechanically signed.
Reagan was the Great Communicator and could write a good, substantial letter. Many lengthy and content-laden letters exist, but from 1967 on, telling if they were drafted by him or his talented writing staff can be a challenge, as one resembles the other. Reagan enjoyed writing and many of his pre-gubernatorial and post-presidential letters are ALS's. When young, Reagan was nicknamed Dutch; his early letters are often signed that way, and he continued to do so for certain friends his entire life. Disliking formality right until the end, he very often signed letters to friends and acquaintances “Ronald,” “Ronnie,” or “Ron.”