The Iron Lady has passed. Margaret Thatcher, the first-ever female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, has died at 87, her family's rep told Us Weekly in a statement on Monday, April 8. "It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning. A further statement will be made later." the rep said. Thatcher reportedly suffered from Alzheimer's Disease in the later years of her life.
A member of Britain's Conservative party, Thatcher served as prime minister from 1979 to 1990, and retired from public life in 1992. She became a Conservative MP in 1959, served as an education secretary, and became the leader of her party in 1975.
A political icon of the 1980s, Thatcher worked closely with President Ronald Reagan's administration, led the UK during its war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands in 1982, and helped privatized many state-owned industries during her reign. Named one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century by TIME magazine, she was memorably portrayed by Meryl Streep, who won another Academy Award, in 2011's Iron Lady.
Reacting to the news, Buckingham Palace tells Us: "The Queen was sad to hear the news of the Baroness Thatcher. Her Majesty will be sending a private message of sympathy to the family." Her husband of 52 years, businessman Sir Denis Thatcher, passed away in 2003.