Former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher dead - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher dead

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Margaret Thatcher Margaret Thatcher
Thatcher with President Reagan Thatcher with President Reagan
LONDON, ENGLAND -

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died following a stroke. The baroness was 87 years old.

Thatcher was Britain's first and only woman prime minister. She had become increasingly frail and had been dealing with health problems in recent years.

She was admitted to hospital shortly before Christmas where she underwent an operation to remove a growth from her bladder, but was allowed to return home before the new year.

Britain's Prime Minister, David Cameron, paid tribute to Thatcher by saying: "We've lost a great leader, a great Prime Minister and a great Briton."

A statement from Buckingham Palace says: "The Queen was sad to hear the news of the death of Baroness Thatcher. Her Majesty will be sending a private message of sympathy to the family."

Thatcher was a conservative and close ally of President Ronald Reagan. She led Britain from 1979 to 1990 and was the longest-serving prime minister in the 20th century.

Thatcher visited Indiana 21 years ago to speak at DePauw University. Thatcher told the crowd That the 20th century was ending a lot better than it started. She also called on democratic nations to push other countries to embrace democracy and support the development of free economies.

President Barack Obama says former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was both a great champion of freedom and an example to women everywhere.

In a statement issued Monday by the White House, Obama said Britain's first woman prime minister showed "our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can't be shattered."

Obama says many Americans remember Thatcher standing "shoulder to shoulder" with President Ronald Reagan during the Cold War. He says she showed then that leaders don't have to be swept along by the currents of history, but can shape them "with moral conviction, unyielding courage and iron will."

Governor Mike Pence issued this statement:

"Today, we mourn the loss of Margaret Thatcher, a dynamic leader who devoted her career to advancing economic freedom and individual liberty. At a time when the world needed bold vision and principled leadership, she inspired a generation to confront economic malaise and threats to freedom everywhere. Her passion and vision helped reshape the course of history and helped end the Cold War. Along with millions of Hoosiers, the First Lady and I extend our utmost gratitude for Margaret Thatcher's work, and, during this difficult time, we offer our prayers and deepest condolences to her family, friends and all those she held dear."

BBC obituary

Wall Street Journal: A social obituary of Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher: a life in pictures

"The lady's not for turning." - Margaret Thatcher: A life in quotes

We will update this story throughout the day.

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