Forever known as the “Iron Lady,” Margaret Hilda Thatcher or Baroness Thatcher was a showpiece of Conservative western-politics towards the end of the 20th century. The longest-serving British Prime Minister, she took office from 1979 – 1990.
Well documented is her firm friendship with the Republican US president and fellow conservative Ronald Reagan during their mutual years in office during the 80s. This relationship played a big part in what is now known today as “The Special Relationship” between the USA and UK regarding joint policies, both globally and militarily. In today’s politically correct woke worshipping west, it’s hard to imagine we’ll see a Conservative-minded politician like her ever again being able to attain the highest office for as long as she did amongst Western G8 countries.
Born in 1925 in rural England, she had a normal upbringing — notably before World War Two Thatcher’s parents gave sanctuary to a young Jewish girl who had fled Nazi Germany. Thatcher studied chemistry at Somerville College in Oxford and briefly worked in the field. She entered the political realm in 1959 as a member of Parliament.
In 1975, Thatcher became the Conservative Party leader, becoming the first woman in British politics to achieve this and lead a major political party. In 1979 she won the national election and became Prime Minister.
Her uncompromising politics and leadership style both at home and abroad led to her becoming a polarizing figure. A fierce enemy of Soviet Russia and socialist-liberal views, she waged war against trade unions within Britain — notably against the miner strikes of the 80s, the Provisional IRA (against whom she survived an assassination attempt in 1984), and Argentina, during the Falklands War of 1982 — where she sent British military forces to recapture the island which is under British sovereignty. She was also known to be a supporter of apartheid in South Africa.
During her years in office, she managed to bring about economic recovery to the United Kingdom through the privatization of state-owned companies. She was re-elected by a landslide in 1983 and again in 1987. However, her support of certain taxes and her skepticism over policies related to European inclusion led to her decline in support, particularly amongst those in her party.
In 1990 she stepped down from Prime Minister to incoming John Major and left politics entirely in 1992. She was given the title of Baroness, a life peerage, allowing her to sit on the House of Lords.
In 2003 her husband Denis died, and Margaret Thatcher died in 2013. She is survived by her two children, Mark and Carol.