Monday 7 March 2016

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan Dies From Heart Failure

The former First Lady, wife of President Ronald Reagan, Nancy Reagan passed away in Bel Air on Sunday after suffering congestive heart failure. Starting as an actress in the 1940s and 1950s, she married Ronald Reagan in 1952. Mrs Reagan was an influential First Lady during her husband's presidency from 1981 to 1989. 

In recent years, Nancy struggled with her health after falling at home and breaking three ribs in 2012, not long after breaking her pelvis at home in 2008. On Sunday, Mrs Reagan's adopted stepson Michael Reagan led tributes to the former First Lady on Twitter, writing: “I am saddened by the passing of my step mother Nancy Reagan...She is once again with the man she loved.God Bless...”

Born in New York City in 1921, her birth certificate reads Anne Francis Robbins, but everyone called her Nancy from the start. Nancy went to college in Chicago then university in Massachusetts, majoring in English and Drama. She then moved to New York to follow in her mother's footsteps and become an actress, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Katherine Hepburn. In March 1949, she signed a seven-year contract with MGM and relocated to Hollywood to star in movies such as The Next Voice You Hear, which received a glittering review in the New York Times. 

In October 1949, she met Ronald Reagan. They married in 1952 and appeared in a movie together, Hellcats Of The Navy, in 1956. Ten years later, Ronald Reagan ran for office and in 1967 he was sworn in as governor of California. As a couple, the Reagans were enlisted often by President Nixon to represent America around the world. They were dispatched to the opening of the Cultural Center in the Philippines in 1969, and to meet with officials in Japan, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan in 1971.

She is survived by two children: Patricia Ann and Ronald Prescott.  She will be buried at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, next to her husband Ronald.

A statement released by the Reagan Library said: “In lieu of flowers, we hope you will remember Mrs. Reagan with a memorial gift to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.  The Reagan Foundation was created by President and Mrs. Reagan to preserve the Reagan Legacy and continue President Reagan’s work for the benefit of future generations

Former President George W Bush released a statement on behalf of himself and his wife and It read: “Laura and I are saddened by the loss of former First Lady Nancy Reagan. Mrs Reagan was fiercely loyal to her beloved husband, and that devotion was matched only by her devotion to our country. Her influence on the White House was complete and lasting. During her time as first lady and since, she raised awareness about drug abuse and breast cancer. When we moved into the White House, we benefitted from her work to make those historic rooms beautiful. Laura and I are grateful for the life of Nancy Reagan, and we send our condolences to the entire Reagan family”.

Others that have paid there tribute include Bill and Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz  Sean Spicer, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mitt Romney and Joan Collins

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