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Death of Nancy Reagan


At 94 years old, Nancy Reagan, one of the most influential first ladies of the 20th century, died on March 6 as a result of congestive heart failure.

Mrs. Reagan was buried at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, next to her deceased husband, former president Ronald Reagan, who passed away in the 2004.

“We remain grateful for Nancy Reagan’s life, thankful for her guidance, and prayerful that she and her beloved husband are together again,” commented President Barack Obama.

Mr. and Mrs. Reagan are remembered for their unwavering loyalty to one another, embodying a commendable and deep love. James Baker, Ronald Reagan’s former chief of staff, commented on the couple at Mrs. Reagan’s funeral: “He wrote her every single night. When they were together, he hid her love notes around the house to find,” he said. “She saved his love notes in a shopping bag in his closet.”

“The only day I saw her lose her composure was the day the president was shot,” Baker added.

Political, business, and Hollywood leaders came together to mourn the loss of the former First Lady. Her eulogists spoke of her memorable signature elegance, her political influence as her husband’s right-hand supporter, and her intimidating contempt for those who crossed her, embodying an example for female empowerment.

The Reagan’s son, Ronald Prescott Reagan, explained Nancy’s influence in his euguly, stating, “There likely wouldn’t have been a President Ronald Reagan without a Nancy Reagan.”

The former First Lady was known for her acting career shortly after graduating from Smith College in Massachusetts, prior to her marriage to President Reagan. The couple wed on March 4, 1952, and the Reagans even starred together in the 1957 World War II film “Hellcats of the Navy,” in which Nancy played a Navy nurse and Ronald played the commanding officer of a submarine.

One of Reagan’s most notable accomplishments was promoting drug education and prevention programs throughout the nation. Her anti-drug campaign, titled “Just Say No,” influenced the passage of the 1986 National Crusade for a Drug-Free America. Through her platform, she became the very first First Lady to address the United Nations General Assembly.

Ronald Reagan died at the age of 93 on June 5, 2004, leaving Nancy to live nearly twelve full years without her husband by her side. When asked how Ronald’s death impacted her, she said: “I miss Ronnie a lot, an awful lot. People say it gets better. No, it does not.”

The former First Lady will be missed for her class, poise, and important influence in America.


NBC, ABC, and The Washington Post contributed to this post.


Image from Flickr creative commons: Thomas Hawk.

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Death of Nancy Reagan