Margaret Thatcher, the first female prime minister of Britain and a giant of 20th century conservatism, is dead at the age of 87.
Ex-spokesman Tim Bell says that former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died.
Bell said the woman known to friends and foes as "the Iron Lady" passed away this morning.
During 11 bruising years as prime minister, Thatcher found a fellow believer in former US President Ronald Reagan, transformed her country by a ruthless dedication to free markets and infuriated European allies.
Thatcher's strength was admirable, and could not be mistaken as this memorable January 31, 1976 quote proves:
"Ladies and gentlemen, I stand before you tonight in my red chiffon evening gown, my face softly made up, my fair hair gently waved ... the Iron Lady of the Western World. Me? A Cold War warrior? Well, yes - if that is how they wish to interpret my defense of values of freedoms fundamental to our way of life."
Thatcher retired from public engagements in 2002 following a series of small strokes, and was only occasionally seen in public since then.
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