On Cordell above the Strip: From left, Maureen, Ronnie, Michael and Jane

A column in the Times today leads with this arresting headline, “Was Ronald Reagan a secret snitch?” The question comes up, the writer John Meroney says, because the San Jose Mercury News recently published an article revealing that Reagan’s FBI files describe him as a “confidential informant” starting in the 1940s, around the time he lived along the Sunset Strip.

Reagan, his wife, Jane Wyman, and their two children lived at 9137 Cordell Drive [map], a house they built and which is still there, although it has been remodeled extensively. Reagan was an FDR liberal at that time, and was said to have devoted as much time or more to his union leadership role as he did on his acting career.

The Mercury News article in November described Reagan’s interaction with the FBI like this:

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