Former Us First Lady, Nancy Reagan, Dies At 94
BEVERLY HILLS, March 06, (THEWILL) – Nancy Reagan, the influential and stylish wife of the 40th president of the United States, Ronald Reagan, died on Sunday at her home in Los Angeles, aged 94.
The cause of death according to a statement from Joanne Drake, a spokeswoman for Mrs. Reagan, was congestive heart failure.
Mrs. Reagan was a fierce guardian of her husband's image and career – as Governor of California and ultimately the President, she was a trusted adviser.
Mrs. Reagan helped hire and fire the political consultants who ran her husband's near-miss campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 1976 and his successful campaign for the presidency in 1980.
In public, she gazed at him adoringly and portrayed herself as a contented wife who had willingly given up a Hollywood acting career of her own to devote herself to her husband's career.
“He was all I had ever wanted in a man, and more,” she wrote in “My Turn: The Memoirs of Nancy Reagan,” published in 1989.
He reciprocated in kind. “How do you describe coming into a warm room from out of the cold?” he once said. “Never waking up bored? The only thing wrong is, she's made a coward out of me. Whenever she's out of sight, I'm a worrier about her.”
“Without Nancy, there would have been no Governor Reagan, no President Reagan,” said Michael K. Deaver, the longtime aide and close friend of the Reagans who died in 2007.
In 2001, seven years after her husband announced that he had Alzheimer's disease, Mrs. Reagan broke with President George W. Bush and endorsed embryonic stem cell research.
She stepped up her advocacy after her husband's death on June 5, 2004. “She feels the greatest legacy her family could ever have is to spare other families from going through what they have,” a family friend, Doug Wick, quoted Mrs. Reagan as saying.
Born Anne Frances Robbins on July 6, 1921, in New York City, Nancy Davis was the daughter of Edith Luckett, an actress, and Kenneth Robbins, a car dealer who abandoned the family soon after her birth.
In 1929, Ms. Luckett married a Chicago neurosurgeon, Loyal Davis, who adopted Nancy and gave her the family name.
Mr. Reagan and Nancy Davis were married on March 4, 1952, at a private ceremony at The Little Brown Church in the Valley, in Studio City. Mr. Holden and his wife, Ardis, were the only witnesses.
After their marriage, the Reagans bought a house in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles, where their daughter, Patricia Ann, was born on Oct. 21, 1952; and a son, Ronald Prescott, on May 28, 1958.
Besides her son and daughter, survivors include Mrs. Reagan's stepson, Michael Reagan, and her brother, Dr. Richard Davis. A stepdaughter, Maureen Reagan, died in 2001.
Story by David Oputah