Nancy Reagan

U.S. First Lady

Born: 6 July 1921
Died: 6 March 2016 (heart failure)
Birthplace: New York City, New York
Best known as: First Lady of the United States, 1981-89

Name at birth: Anne Francis Robbins

Nancy Reagan was First Lady of the United States during the two presidential terms of her husband, Ronald Reagan, from 1981-89. Like the president, Nancy Reagan had been in acting before becoming a political figure: as Nancy Davis, she made a handful of movies in Hollywood beginning in 1948. That was how she met Reagan, who had been a popular actor for a decade. On 4 March 1952 they were married. It was Nancy's first marriage; Reagan had previously been married to the actress Jane Wyman. In 1957 the Reagans appeared together in Hellcats of the Navy, a World War II submarine drama in which they were paired romantically on-screen. The Reagans had two children: Patti (b. 1952, later known as Patti Davis) and Ronald (b. 1958). By the end of the 1950s, Nancy had given up her acting career in order to raise their family and to support her husband's political ambitions. Ronald Reagan became governor of California from 1967-75, and then was elected U.S. president in 1980, making Nancy Reagan the First Lady of the United States. In that role she is best remembered for her fight against narcotics abuse, centered around her advice to "Just Say No" to drugs. Nancy Reagan devoted her later years to caring for her husband, who was afflicted with Alzheimer's disease from 1994 until his death in 2004. Nancy Reagan was 94 when she died 12 years later; a family spokesman said the cause was congestive heart failure.
Extra credit:

She was born Anne Francis Robbins, but nicknamed Nancy. Her parents divorced when she was an infant, and she took the legal name of Nancy Davis after she was adopted in 1935 by her mother’s second husband, Loyal Davis… Nancy Reagan was at the center of a minor scandal in 1997, when former Reagan staffer Donald Regan revealed that Nancy had frequently sought advice from an astrologer and sometimes changed the president’s schedule accordingly… Nancy Reagan graduated from Smith College in 1943… Her memoirs, titled My Turn, were published in 1989… Nancy Reagan also has two stepchildren from Ronald Reagan’s marriage to Jane Wyman: Maureen Reagan (1941-2001) and Michael Reagan (b. 1945).

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