Nancy Reagan Has Died At Age 94
Former First Lady Nancy Reagan has died, according to multiple reports. She was 94 years old.NBC News reports Reagan's cause of death was congestive heart failure. She passed away at her home in Los Angeles.
Michael Reagan, President of The Reagan Legacy Foundation posted this on Twitter this morning:
I am saddened by the passing of my step mother Nancy Reagan...She is once again with the man she loved.God Bless...— Michael Reagan (@ReaganWorld) March 6, 2016
Reagan will be buried next to her husband, Ronald Reagan at his Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. Reagan's rep Joanne Drake said in a statement, "Prior to the funeral service, there will be an opportunity for members of the public to pay their respects at the Library."
A statement released by the Republican National Committee read:
Nancy Reagan embodied what it means to represent America as First Lady and her dignified and warm demeanor inspired America. Mrs. Reagan will go down in history as a woman who left her own mark on the White House and our country. She was a longtime friend and supporter of many in our party, and will be sorely missed. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Reagan family and all those who she so deeply touched over the years. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Reagan family...Americans from coast to coast will mourn Nancy Reagan’s loss as we take this time to remember her legacy, as a public servant, as a private citizen, and as a wife and mother.
And the statements from dignitaries and politicians—even Liberals!—have kept rolling in. From the Obamas: "Nancy Reagan once wrote that nothing could prepare you for living in the White House." The statement continued:
She was right, of course. But we had a head start, because we were fortunate to benefit from her proud example, and her warm and generous advice. Our former First Lady redefined the role in her time here. Later, in her long goodbye with President Reagan, she became a voice on behalf of millions of families going through the depleting, aching reality of Alzheimer's, and took on a new role, as advocate, on behalf of treatments that hold the potential and promise to improve and save lives.
And the Clintons:
Nancy was an extraordinary woman: a gracious First Lady, proud mother, and devoted wife to President Reagan—her Ronnie. Her strength of character was legendary, particularly when tested by the attempted assassination of the President, and throughout his battle with Alzheimer's. She leaves a remarkable legacy of good that includes her tireless advocacy for Alzheimer’s research and the Foster Grandparent Program.
Conservatives have also been paying their respects on Twitter:
Nancy Reagan was also an elegant, graceful, mostly silent representative of American womanhood. She's not responsible for glasnost.— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) March 6, 2016
Nancy Reagan will be remembered for her deep passion for this nation and love for her husband, Ronald. The Reagan family is in our prayers.— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 6, 2016
And....Brian Wilson, John Stamos, Elizabeth Banks? Ok, then:
Sad to hear Nancy Reagan passed away. She stood up for us in 1984 when we were banned from playing July 4 D.C. Show. Ended up being great.— Brian Wilson (@BrianWilsonLive) March 6, 2016
One of Reagan's most enduring legacies was her involvement in the "Just Say No" campaign against drugs in the 1980s. Here's a video called "Stop the Madness," featuring Reagan with David Hasselhoff, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and a young Whitney Houston; kind of a "We Are the World," but about drugs:
And here's Nancy again, making an appearance in an episode of Diff'rent Strokes:
Reagan was born Nancy Davis in New York City in 1921. She moved to Los Angeles as a young woman, where she tried to make it in Hollywood as an actress. She wound up acting in over a dozen films, and several TV shows, to marginal success. In the midst of the Red Scare of the 1940s, Reagan (then Davis) was listed as one of the signers of a brief that urged the Supreme Court to overturn the convictions of two screenwriters who had been blacklisted after refusing to cooperate with the House Un-American Activities Committee, according to the New York Times.
One of her former directors, Mervyn LeRoy, believed she had mistakenly been associated with signing the brief, so he set her up for a meeting with the then-president of the Screen Actor's Guild: Ronald Reagan.
They married in 1952, and after leaving the world of acting, was a stalwart supporter of her husband's political ambitions over the following decades. Many say she played a much larger role in influencing his policy and decision-making behind-the-scenes than she let on. After Reagan died from complications due to Alzheimer's, Nancy became an outspoken advocate in favor of stem-cell research.
The Reagans were also big believers in astrology, and consulted the planets when it come to a lot of decision making. Nancy was especially into it; considerably so after the 1981 assassination attempt on her husband (Ted Koppel reported that an astrologer predicted this and warned Nancy in advance).
Reagan has also been criticized for ignoring the magnitude of the AIDS crisis, particularly with regard to this recent story in which she apparently turned down Rock Hudson's pleas for help in regards to his own treatment.
Lest we forget: