Former First Lady Nancy Reagan Passes at 94
Former First Lady Nancy Reagan, a truly graceful lady and one of the most influential first ladies of all time, has passed away at age 94. Mrs. Reagan will be buried at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, next to her husband, Ronald Wilson Reagan, who died on June 5, 2004,” according to spokeswoman Joanne Drake. Mrs. Reagan died of congestive heart failure.
Nancy and Ronald Reagan wed on March 4, 1952. Daughter Patti was born in October of that year and son Ron followed in 1958. Reagan already had a daughter, Maureen, and an adopted son, Michael, from his marriage to actress Jane Wyman.
According to Wikipedia, Nancy was born in New York City. After her parents separated, she grew up in Maryland, living with an aunt and uncle for some years. As Nancy Davis, she was a Hollywood actress in the 1940s and 1950s, starring in films such as The Next Voice You Hear…, Night Into Morning, and Donovan’s Brain. In 1952, she married Ronald Reagan who was then president of the Screen Actors Guild. They had two children together. Reagan was the First Lady of California when her husband was Governor from 1967 to 1975 and she began to work with the Foster Grandparents Program.
Nancy Reagan became First Lady of the United States in January 1981, following her husband’s victory in the 1980 presidential election. She was criticized early in his first term largely due to her decision to replace the White House china, despite its being paid for by private donations. She aimed to restore a Kennedy-esque glamour to the White House following years of lax formality, and her interest in high-end fashion garnered much attention as well as criticism. She championed recreational drug prevention causes by founding the “Just Say No” drug awareness campaign, which was considered her major initiative as First Lady. More controversy ensued when it was revealed in 1988 that she had consulted an astrologer to assist in planning the president’s schedule after the attempted assassination of her husband in 1981. She had a strong influence on her husband and played a role in a few of his personnel and diplomatic decisions.