Reagan was born John Flaugher in Los Angeles to Irene Flaugher (1916 – December 26, 1985), an unmarried woman from Kentucky who became pregnant through a relationship with John Bourgholtzer, a U.S. Army corporal of German Catholic background. He was adopted by Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman shortly after his birth.
He was expelled from Loyola High School after a short period of time at the school and in 1964, he graduated from the Judson School, a boarding school outside of Scottsdale, Arizona. He attended Arizona State University for less than one semester and Los Angeles Valley College but never graduated.
Sometime prior to September 1970, Reagan was working as a salesman for the clothing company Hart, Schaffner & Marx. He then became a director of special events catering at Michaelson Food Service Company in Los Angeles.
Reagan has had small roles in movies and television shows since 1985, including Falcon Crest which starred his mother, Jane Wyman.
His work in talk radio started in the Southern California local market as a guest host for radio commentator Michael Jackson's talk radio show slot on KABC in Los Angeles. After this beginning, he landed a talk show spot on KSDO radio in San Diego.
Reagan also hosted The Michael Reagan Show nationwide for most of the 2000s (decade). The show was variously syndicated on Premiere Networks and Radio America. Since then he has focused on public speaking about his father.
In 1988, he wrote, with Joe Hyams, an autobiographical book Michael Reagan: On The Outside Looking In. In 2005, he wrote Twice Adopted about his feelings of rejection being adopted, parents divorcing and becoming a born-again Christian.
In April 2013, in a syndicated column, Reagan accused American churches of not fighting hard enough to block same-sex marriage. He wrote that, in regards to arguments supporting gay marriage, similar arguments could be used to support polygamy, bestiality, and murder. As he wrote: "There is also a very slippery slope leading to other alternative relationships and the unconstitutionality of any law based on morality. Think about polygamy, bestiality, and perhaps even murder."
After Reagan wrote the piece, the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center disinvited him as the keynote speaker for a fundraising luncheon.
Reacting to the Mark Foley scandal in 2006, Reagan said, "Any member of Congress who was aware of the sexual emails and protected the congressman should resign effective immediately. I was sexually abused by a day-camp counselor at age eight and also made to be part of child pornography."
In June 2008, conspiracy theorist Mark Dice launched a campaign urging people to send letters and DVDs to troops stationed in Iraq which support the theory that the September 11 attacks were an "inside job". "Operation Inform the Soldiers", as Dice has called it, prompted Reagan to comment that Dice should be executed for treason. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a liberal/progressive media criticism organization, asked Radio America at the time to explain whether it permits "its hosts to call for murder on the air."
He spoke out in support of profiling in October 2014. In a piece called Profile or Die, he wrote that it would be left to citizens to defend themselves if there were an attack against them by terrorists such as the Islamic State.
In 1981 Reagan was accused, but later cleared of felony violations of California securities laws in court documents. The Los Angeles County District Attorney alleged that Reagan had baited investors into unlawful stock arrangements, and selling stocks despite the fact that he was not legally permitted to do so. The D.A.'s office investigated allegations that Reagan improperly spent money invested by others in a company, Agricultural Energy Resources, he operated out of his house in a venture to develop the potential of gasohol, a combination of alcohol and gasoline. Investigators said they were also checking whether he had spent up to $17,500 of investors' money for his living expenses. The district attorney's office cleared Reagan of both charges later that year.
On September 20, 2012, Reagan and two associates were sued by Elias Chavando, a fellow partner, for allegedly withholding Chavando's interest in an e-mail business built around the Reagan.com domain name. In 2015, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury found Reagan liable for conversion and breach of fiduciary duty. Reagan and his business partners were ordered to pay $662,500 in damages.
In 1971 Reagan married Pamela Gail Putnam (born 1952), daughter of Duane Putnam, former Atlanta Falcons football line coach. The couple divorced in 1972.
He married Colleen Sterns, an interior decorator, in 1975 at The Church on the Way. They have two children, Cameron and Ashley. Reagan and his wife live in the Toluca Lake area of Los Angeles.
In January 2011, he called his brother Ron Reagan "an embarrassment" for speculating in a memoir that their father suffered from Alzheimer's disease while president.