Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990, and one of the seminal leaders of the twentieth century, has died.
Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990, and one of the seminal leaders of the twentieth century, has died. Mrs. Thatcher was Britain’s longest continuously serving prime minister since the 19th century; a pivotal force in both the domestic and international arenas; the first, and so far only, woman to occupy her country’s highest political office.
Nicknamed “The Iron Lady” for her strong and steadfast beliefs, Margaret Thatcher was an advocate for freedom and free markets. Along with her political ally and friend U.S. President Ronald Reagan, Mrs. Thatcher helped shape the policies of what was called the free world, contributing to the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the liberation of millions from dictatorship and despair.
In a statement, President Barack Obama said, “The world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend. As a grocer’s daughter who rose to become Britain’s first female prime minister, she stands as an example to our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can’t be shattered.
As prime minister, she helped restore the confidence and pride that has always been the hallmark of Britain at its best. And, as an unapologetic supporter of our transatlantic alliance, she knew that with strength and resolve we could win the Cold War and extend freedom’s promise.”
Mr. Obama said, “Here in America, many of us will never forget her standing shoulder to shoulder with President Reagan, reminding the world that we are not simply carried along by the currents of history – we can shape them with moral conviction, unyielding courage and iron will.”
Secretary of State John Kerry said, “Lady Thatcher took the helm of government amid tumultuous times. She would face wars abroad, terrorism at home, and deep uncertainty about the United Kingdom’s future. She met all these challenges and many others with unyielding drive and courage.”
Secretary Kerry said the United States particularly celebrates “the way. . .Lady Thatcher strengthened the Special Relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom -- a relationship that remains a driving force for freedom, justice, and democracy. . .The threat of a Soviet Empire she warned against has given way to a new set of global challenges,” said Mr. Kerry, “but our alliance with the United Kingdom remains an unrivaled source of strength in today’s challenges from Afghanistan to Syria.”