Today Show: Margaret Thatcher Dies At 87
Margaret Thatcher, the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, died at age 87 from a stroke. Thatcher retired from her public life in 2002 after a stroke, one of several she suffered from over the next 10 years. Complications with her health have plagued her since early 2010 when she missed her own 85th birthday party and the unveiling of a statue for her dead friend Ronald Reagan.
Today Show: Margaret Thatcher, The Iron Lady
Thatcher was born to a dress maker mother and a father who dabbled in local politics in their hometown of Grantham. By the age of 34, Thatcher was elected into the Conservative party and by the age of 50 she was heading the entire Conservative party. Then in 1979, at the age of 54, she was elected as the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, which came only years after Thatcher had been reported saying she didn’t believe she would ever see a female Prime Minister in her life.
From 1979 to 1990, Thatcher served as the Prime Minister of England, the longest serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in the 20th century. It was also around this time when she was dubbed the Iron Lady by many journalist because of her uncompromising politics and leadership style. She ignored IRA hunger strikes, she ignored all demands by terrorists and was undaunted in her task to deregulate labor markets in the country.
Thatcher also developed a friendship with Ronald Reagan who would often turn to the Prime Minister for advice on running his own country. She even gave a eulogy at his funeral, calling the former President a great man and great friend. In 1990, Thatcher was forced out of her position as Prime Minister by her own conservative party who was not happy with her conservative policies, many of which became known as Thatcherisms. Hoda Kotb, who was filling in for Savannah Guthrie on the Today Show, said she will always remember Thatcher for a quote she once said, “Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, then you aren’t.”