Former President Ronald Reagan would have been 100 years old on February 6, and in celebration of the centennial, his youngest son Ron has released a new book about his father.
Titled Ron Reagan - My Father at 100, Ron suggests in the new tome that his father suffered from Alzheimer's disease while in the White House.
'Had the diagnosis been made in, say, 1987, would he have stepped down?', Ron asks in the book to be released next Tuesday. 'I believe he would have'.
In excerpts of the memoir released by U.S. News, Ron says he saw hints of confusion and 'an out-of-touch president' during the 1984 campaign and again in 1986 where he claimed his father could not remember the names of the familiar California canyons he was flying over.
|Claims: Ronald Reagan's son Ron is releasing a book called My Father at 100
Mr Reagan was formally diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in August 1994 at the age of 83.
But while some people suggested they knew Reagan had the disease while in office, his four White House doctors said they saw no evidence of it.
Ron, 52, writes in the memoir that doctors have more of an understanding of the disease now than back when his father was diagnosed and appreciate that the signs of the disease can be in evidence before it is acutally recognised.
'The question, then, of whether my father suffered from the beginning stages of Alzheimer's while in office more or less answers itself', Ron writes.
Alzheimer's is an incurable neurological disorder which destroys brain cells. Mr Reagan informed the nation in a hand written letter when he was formally diagnosed.
'I have recently been told that I am one of the millions of Americans who will be afflicted with Alzheimer's Disease.
'I intend to live the remainder of the years God gives me on this earth doing the things I have always done'.
Mr Reagan died at his home in Bel Air, California on June 5 2004 aged 93.
'Three years into his first term as president, though, I was feeling the first shivers of concern that something beyond mellowing was affecting my father', Ron writes in the book.
'He told me you make him feel stupid', my mother [Nancy Reagan] once shared, to my alarm. I didn't want my father to feel stupid.
'If he was going to shoulder massive responsibiity, I wanted him to feel on top of his game. If he was going to fulfill his duties as president, he would have to be.'
Ron also asserts in the book that his father underwent brain surgery after falling off a horse, six months after leaving the White House - a claim denied by associates of the former President and never before reported.
Courtesy Daily Mail, UK