Britain’s first ever female prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, has died. The 87-year-old, who reportedly suffered from Alzheimer’s in recent years, passed away Monday morning after having a stroke. Her children, Mark and Carol Thatcher, announced her death in a statement released by spokesman Lord Bell.
"It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning. A further statement will be made later,” Bell said.
Thatcher attended Oxford on a scholarship and studied chemistry and law. In 1959, she was elected a conservative Member of Parliament for Finchley. Eleven years later she was appointed Education Secretary by Edward Heath. She ran against Heath in 1975 and became leader of the conservative party. Thatcher became Prime Minister in 1979. Over her 11 years as Prime Minister, Thatcher worked for deregulation in the financial sector, privatization of state-owned industries, and reduction of trade union power. She worked closely with U.S. President Ronald Reagan and led the UK during the war over the Falkland Islands in 1982. Thatcher was given the title of Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven in 1992.
Thatcher was portrayed by Meryl Streep in the 2011 film The Iron Lady. Streep won a Golden Globe and an Oscar for the role.
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