- NAME: Margaret Thatcher
- OCCUPATION: Prime Minister
- BIRTH DATE: October 13, 1925
- DEATH DATE: April 08, 2013
- EDUCATION: Oxford University, Somerville College, Grantham Girls' High School
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
- PLACE OF DEATH: United Kingdom
- Full Name: Margaret Hilda Thatcher
- Nickname: "Iron Lady"
- AKA: Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven
- Maiden Name: Margaret Hilda Roberts
- AKA: Margaret Thatcher
- AKA: Margaret Roberts
- AKA: Baroness Thatcher
Best Known For
The first female prime minister of Britain, Margaret Thatcher was a controversial figurehead of conservative ideology during her time in office.
Journalist Tom Brokaw describes what made Margaret Thatcher "The Iron Lady," and the influence she had on the United States.
Journalist Tom Brokaw describes Margaret Thatcher's political certainty, her no-nonsense demeanor, and what she really thought of Prince Charles.
Michael Shelden, author of the book "Young Titan: The Making of Winston Churchill", compares Churchill to Margaret Thatcher and describes their influence on 20th century politics.
Watch a short video about Margaret Thatcher and the path she took to become England's first female Prime Minister.
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Thatcher initially pressed on for party leadership in 1990, but eventually yielded to pressure from party members and announced her intentions to resign on November 22, 1990. In a statement, she said, "Having consulted widely among colleagues,
I have concluded that the unity of the Party and the prospects of victory in a General Election would be better served if I stood down to enable Cabinet colleagues to enter the ballot for the leadership. I should like to thank all those in Cabinet and outside who have given me such dedicated support." On November 28, 1990, Thatcher departed from 10 Downing Street, the prime minister's official residence, for the last time.
Not long after leaving office, Thatcher was appointed to the House of Lords, as Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven, in 1992. She wrote about her experiences as a world leader and a pioneering woman in the field of politics in two books: The Downing Street Years (1993) and The Path to Power (1995). In 2002, she published the book Statecraft, in which she offered her views on international politics.
Around this time, Thatcher suffered a series of small strokes. She then suffered a great personal loss in 2003, when her husband of more than 50 years, Denis, died. The following year, Thatcher had to say goodbye to an old friend and ally, Ronald Reagan. In fragile health, Thatcher gave a eulogy at his funeral via video link, praising Reagan as a man who "sought to mend America's wounded spirit, to restore the strength of the free world, and to free the slaves of communism."
In 2005, Thatcher celebrated her 80th birthday. A huge event was held in her honor and was attended by Queen Elizabeth II, Tony Blair and nearly 600 other friends, family members and former colleagues. Two years later, a sculpture of the strong conservative leader was unveiled in the House of Commons.
Margaret Thatcher's health made headlines in 2010, when she missed a celebration at 10 Downing Street, held in honor of her 85th birthday by David Cameron. Later, in November 2010, Thatcher spent two weeks in the hospital for a condition that was later revealed to cause painful muscle inflammation. In 2011, she sat out such a number of major events, including the wedding of Prince William in April, and the unveiling of the Ronald Reagan sculpture in London in July. Additionally, in July 2011, Thatcher's office in the House of Lords was permanently closed. The closure has been seen by some to mark the end of her public life.
Battling memory problems in her later years due to her strokes, Thatcher retreated from the spotlight, living in near seclusion at her home in London's Belgravia neighborhood.
Margaret Thatcher died on April 8, 2013, at the age of 87. She was survived by her two children, daughter Carol and son Sir Mark. Thatcher's policies and actions continue to be debated by detractors and supporters alike, illustrating the indelible impression that she has left on Britain and nations worldwide.
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