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British Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher dies after stroke

Last updated on: April 8, 2013 17:43 IST

British Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher dies after stroke

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Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is dead. She was 86

Thatcher's spokesman Lord Bell said: "It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning."

Born in October 1925 at Grantham, a small market town in eastern England, Thatcher rose to become the first (and for two decades the only) woman to lead a major Western democracy.

She won three successive general elections and served as British prime minister for more than 11 years (1979-90).

During her term of office she reshaped almost every aspect of British politics, reviving the economy, reforming outdated institutions, and reinvigorating the nation's foreign policy.

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Photographs: Reuters

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She challenged and did much to overturn the psychology of decline which had become rooted in Britain since the Second World War, pursuing national recovery with striking energy and determination.

In the process, Thatcher became one of the founders, with Ronald Reagan, of a school of conservative conviction politics, which has had a powerful and enduring impact on politics in Britain and the United States and earned her a higher international profile than any British politician since Winston Churchill.

By successfully shifting British economic and foreign policy to the right, her governments helped to encourage wider international trends which broadened and deepened during the 1980s and 1990s, as the end of the Cold War, the spread of democracy, and the growth of free markets strengthened political and economic freedom in every continent.

Thatcher became one of the world's most influential and respected political leaders, as well as one of the most controversial, dynamic, and plain-spoken, a reference point for friends and enemies alike.

 


Photographs: Reuters

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