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Former first lady Nancy Reagan dies at 94

NEW YORK (AVRUPA TIMES)-Nancy Reagan, former first lady and wife of 40th U.S. President Ronald Reagan, died Sunday at age 94 in California, her spokesperson announced. 

 

"The cause of death was congestive heart failure," Joanne Drake, who is also the chief administrative officer of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, said in a statement. 

 

Born in New York City in 1921 as Nancy Davis, she worked as an actress in stage, film, and television productions during the 1950s when she met her husband Ronald Reagan and married him in 1952. 

 

After her husband became governor of California in 1967, Nancy Reagan became active in projects that brought together senior citizens and handicapped children. 

 

When Ronald Reagan was elected U.S. president in 1980, Nancy Reagan focused on fighting drug and alcohol abuse among young people.

 

After the popular president ended his term in 1989, the former first lady established the Nancy Reagan Foundation to educate young people about the danger of substance abuse. 

 

In 1994, the former president was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease at the age of 83 and was taken care of by his devoted wife until his death at 2004. In 2012, Nancy Reagan accepted the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor by the U.S. Congress, on behalf of the president and herself.

 

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama said in a statement that Nancy Reagan "redefined" the role of the First Lady during her time in the White House.

 

They added that during her time caring for her husband, 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 the promise to improve and save lives".

 

After her husband's death, Mrs. Reagan worked on projects related to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, and served on the board of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. 

 

"Mrs. Reagan will be buried at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, next to her husband, Ronald Wilson Reagan," said today’s statement. 

 

She is survived by her brother, Dr. Richard Davis, and two children with Ronald Reagan – Patti Davis and Ronald Prescott Reagan.

 

Former President George W. Bush – the son of former President George H.W. Bush, who also served as Reagan’s vice president – and his wife also issued a statement expressing their condolences to the Reagan family, saying, "Mrs. Reagan was fiercely loyal to her beloved husband, and that devotion was matched only by her devotion to our country."

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