Former First Lady Nancy Reagan Dies; Anti-drug Effort a Signature Cause

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan Dies; Anti-drug Effort a Signature Cause

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Former first lady Nancy Reagan seen in this Sept. 17, 2008, file photo. She died March 6 at age 94. (CNS photo/Matthew Cavanaugh, EPA) See OBIT-REAGAN March 7, 2016.
Former first lady Nancy Reagan seen in this Sept. 17, 2008, file photo. She died March 6 at age 94. (CNS photo/Matthew Cavanaugh, EPA) See OBIT-REAGAN March 7, 2016.
Former first lady Nancy Reagan seen in this Sept. 17, 2008, file photo. She died March 6 at age 94. (CNS photo/Matthew Cavanaugh, EPA) See OBIT-REAGAN March 7, 2016.

LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Nancy Reagan, who became first lady of the United States in January 1981 following husband Ronald Reagan’s victory in the 1980 presidential election, made her anti-drug campaign a signature effort of her eight-year tenure as first lady. Reagan, 94, died March 6 in Los Angeles of congestive heart failure. Her body was to lie in repose at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley March 9 and 10, with the public invited to pay their respects. A private funeral was scheduled for March 11. She is to be buried alongside her husband at the Reagan library. Ronald Reagan died in 2004. In a statement March 7, President Barack Obama said that shortly after his own election to the White House, he met Nancy Reagan and he described her as charming and gracious to both him and first lady Michelle Obama. The president noted that the deep love Nancy had for former President Reagan was well documented. “He was lucky to have her and I’m sure he would be the first to acknowledge that,” Obama said. The White House announced that Michelle Obama will attend her funeral. Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” initiative became a national catch phrase that extended far beyond the use of drugs.