Former US First Lady Nancy Reagan dies at 94
Nancy Reagan, former First Lady (wife of Ronald Reagan) died today at the age of 94. She died of congestive heart failure. Reagan will be buried next to her husband at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. Michael Reagan (step-son) posted on Facebook saying: "she is once again with the man she loved. God Bless."
Nancy Reagan: The actress
Nancy Reagan's first play was Ramshackle Inn. In 1949, Nancy Davis earned a 7-year contract with MGM Studios. Initially, she was typecast in roles portraying "the loyal housewife or the steady woman." Davis' film career started from The Doctor and the Girl with Glenn Ford and East Side, West Side starring Barbara Stanwyck. 1951's Night into Morning was her best performance according to many.
From marriage to First Lady
In 1952, Nancy Reagan was married to Ronald Reagan (then actor and president of the Screen Actors Guild). Reagan became the First Lady of California when Ronald Reagan became theGovernor of California in 1967. Till 1975, she worked with Foster Grandparents Program as California's first lady. Reagan became the 40th First Lady of the United States in 1982 (a post she held till 1989).
Caricatured as 'Queen Nancy'
Reagan's move out of the governor's mansion (which she called a 'fire trap') to suburbs in 1967 earned her the 'Queen Nancy' name. As US's first lady, her move to give the White House a facelift strengthened the perception of snobbery. Though the White House and her personal lavish wardrobe was funded by private donations, she suffered the onslaught of the press.
Mrs. Reagan's spending spree
Nancy Reagan exorbitantly redecorated the White House, some of her most expensive upgrades included "designer dresses worth $1m (£600,000) and a 4,732-piece set of china worth $209,000."
The crusader against drugs
Her biggest initiative as the First Lady was launching the "Just Say No" drug awareness campaign in 1982. In 1986, her work in this direction led to the "National Crusade for a Drug Free America" act, signed into law by President Reagan. In 1988, she addressed the UN General Assembly talking about the need to strengthen international drug trafficking laws and interdiction.
In 1989, she published her memoirs titled My Turn. She then went on to launch the Nancy Reagan Foundation, to "support educational drug prevention after-school programs". After her husband's death because of Alzheimer's, she dedicated her services in support of embryonic stem cell research (taking the view directly opposite to that of the incumbent Republican president George W Bush) and the Reagan Library.