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Sunday, March 06, 2016

NANCY REAGAN: Former first lady dies at 94

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, wave from windows of his hospital room at the Navy Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., on July 18, 1985.
President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, wave from windows of his hospital room at the Navy Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., on July 18, 1985.
AP FILE PHOTO
Nancy Reagan, the helpmate, backstage adviser and fierce protector of Ronald Reagan in his journey from actor to president — and finally during his 10-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease — has died. She was 94.

The former first lady died Sunday at her home in Los Angeles’ Bel-Air neighborhood of congestive heart failure, assistant Allison Borio told The Associated Press.

Her best-known project as first lady was the “Just Say No” campaign to help kids and teens stay off drugs.

When she swept into the White House in 1981, the former Hollywood actress partial to designer gowns and pricey china was widely dismissed as a pre-feminist throwback, concerned only with fashion, decorating and entertaining. By the time she moved out eight years later, Mrs. Reagan was fending off accusations that she was a behind-the-scenes “dragon lady” wielding unchecked power over the Reagan administration — and doing it based on astrology to boot.

All along she maintained that her only mission was to back her “Ronnie” and strengthen his presidency.

Mrs. Reagan carried that charge through the rest of her days. She served as a full-time caretaker as Alzheimer’s melted away her husband’s memory. After his death in June 2004 she dedicated herself to tending his legacy, especially at his presidential library in California, where he had served as governor.

--more at The Press Enterpise--

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