Margaret Thatcher dies after suffering a stroke
Updated: Monday, April 8 2013, 01:25 PM EDT
LONDON, England. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Margaret Thatcher, the first woman ever to serve as prime minister of Great Britain and the longest-serving British prime minister of the 20th century has died at age 87.
The family released a statement a short time ago that says; "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."
Born Margaret Roberts in 1925, the grocer's daughter became a chemist, a mother and housewife before being elected to Parliament in 1953 as a conservative.
In 1979 she stepped up to Prime Minister and stepped into history. Her hardline against the Soviets earned her the nickname "The Iron Lady."
Thatcher sometimes ruled with an iron fist smashing labor unions and sparking widespread strikes.
She built a reputation as a person who faced critics head-on.
Thatcher held power for 13 years becoming the longest running Prime Minister.
She found a personal friend in President Ronald Reagan, an ally against Communism and a fellow supporter of the free market she believed in so deeply.
She led Britain to victory in the Falklands War in 1982.
But by the late 80's, the political tide was turning and after crushing a coal miners strike and tax riots, her days were numbered, by 1990, her party said it was time for her step down.
Her public appearances grew rare as her health worsened over the years.
Thatcher had significant health problems Thatcher had significant health problems suffering several small strokes and, according to her daughter, struggling with dementia.