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Margaret Thatcher Dies

  • VOA News

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died at the age of 87following a stroke. Thatcher is credited with changing the face of British politics during her three terms as Prime Minister. She was married to Denis Thatcher and had two children a son and daughter -- twins.

Margaret Thatcher

  • Conservative prime minister from 1979 - 1990
  • First woman to be Britain's prime minister, served 3 terms
  • Became Conservative Party leader in Parliament in 1975
  • Served as education and science secretary in the 1970s
  • Married to Denis Thatcher, had 2 children
Thatcher was the first woman to hold Britain's highest elected office. She was considered a respected and outspoken world leader during her 11 years in power.

In her autobiography, Thatcher said her foremost achievement, as prime minister, was to shift British policy from what she called soft socialism to a free enterprise society.

Five years after leaving office, she told a television interviewer she had also restored Britain's high rank in the world because of her unwavering stand for freedom and liberty. She recalled her decision to send British troops to defend the Falkland Islands in 1982 when Argentine forces invaded the British dependency.

"People knew that we would not tolerate an aggressor. We would not appease an aggressor. So we went down to the Falklands," she recalled. "That was the first time an aggressor had been thrown out in the post war period. So we did turn Britain around to become a great nation again although within much smaller borders in a way because we no longer have an empire. But we got back our self-respect and our reputation."

The same could be said for her condemnation of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Standing next to then U.S. President George Bush at a meeting in the United States, Mrs. Thatcher did not hesitate to call for military action if necessary to stop Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
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