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Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 19 June, 2018

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan has died aged 94

The wife of Ronald Reagan visited Ireland in 1984.

Nancy Reagan at the unveiling of a statue to her husband in 2009.
Nancy Reagan at the unveiling of a statue to her husband in 2009.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

FORMER FIRST LADY of the United States Nancy Reagan has died at the age of 94.

The New York born actress died this morning in her home of Bel Air, California.

Her death has been confirmed by a spokesperson for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library who said that she died from congestive heart failure.

Her passing comes almost 12 years after the death of her husband, former US President Ronald Reagan.

Nancy Reagan was a prominent figure during her husband’s two-term presidency and she accompanied him during his 1984 visit to Ireland.

In the US, her tenureship as First Lady is perhaps best remembered for her ‘Just Say No’ initiative in the fight against drug use.

PastedImage-98933 Ronald and Nancy Reagan during their visit to his ancestral home in Ballyporeen, Co Tipperary in 1984. Source: Eamonn Farrell/

Following news of her death, President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama say Nancy Reagan redefined the role of serving as first lady and they are fortunate to have benefited from her “proud example.”

The Obamas say in a written statement that in Reagan’s long goodbye with President Reagan, she became a voice on behalf of millions of families going through the depleting, aching reality of Alzheimer’s.

They also noted her role as advocate on behalf of treatments that could improve and save lives.

Nancy Reagan will buried alongside her husband at his Presidential Library in Simi Valley in California.

As well as being Hollywood actors, Ronald and Nancy Reagan were the First Citizens of California during his eight years as governor of the Golden State.

Read: George Kennedy – star of Dallas, Airport and The Naked Gun – has died >

Column: Who were the greatest and worst US presidents – and why? >


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Rónán Duffy

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