UPDATE: Margaret Thatcher dead: 5 things we’ll remember, 5 things you ought to know

Ex UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had a close personal relationship with former President Ronald Reagan.

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died this morning aged 87.

She had been ill for some time, but died following a stroke, according to a spokesman.

Thatcher was Britain’s first and only female prime minister and served in that capacity for 11 years.

She was dubbed The Iron Lady by diplomats in Russia and Europe over her tough, uncompromising stance in negotiations over the European Union and arms control in the Cold War.

She was also a staunch ally of the United States and had a close personal relationship with former President Ronald Reagan.

At home she was a divisive figure. Her tenure saw the U.K. develop from one of the economic “sick men of Europe” into a powerhouse of the European Union. She destroyed once-powerful unions, but her time in office also saw record unemployment in former industrial areas. 

She came to office in 1979 and by 1982 was riding at historic lows in polls due to the tough economic measures she delivered to transform Britain.

The turning point in her fortunes came in May 1982 when Argentinian military forces invaded the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic.

Many observers, including the Argentinian forces and American diplomats, forecast that Britain would do nothing. Instead, Thatcher ordered Britain’s military to send a task force to retake the islands. The task force set sail within three days of being ordered to do so and within weeks had pulled off  a stunning military victory to eject Argentina from the Falklands.

The wave of patriotic fervor that followed fueled a general election victory in 1983.

Michael Howard, a successor of Thatcher as leader of the center-right Conservative Party said she “was a titan of British politics. I believe she saved our country.”

Five things we’ll remember about Thatcher

Britain’s First Female Prime Minister
Margaret Thatcher, when elected in 1979, became Britain’s first and so far only female prime minister and the West’s first female head of government. Her political dominance and leadership helped power on for three consecutive terms in office, and inspired countless women worldwide to break the glass ceiling of male-dominated politics.

Maggie clad in iron
She wasn’t called Iron Lady for nothing. Shaped by a hard-line political and economic stance, Thatcher shut down national coal mines, slashed social spending, refused to recognize Northern Irish political prisoners and introduced a widely unpopular poll tax.

The Queen of the 1980s
With her fondness for the private sector, deregulation and big missiles, Maggie embodied the zeitgeist of the 1980s – bellicose, ultra-aggressive capitalism – and she was loved for it. The 1982 Falklands War boosted her popularity, while herself and US President Ronald Reagan looked quite the (super) power couple in the era’s anti-communist chic.

No sleep, no problem
Tireless Thatcher famously said while in power she could get by on just four hours a night. She joins the genetically blessed Sleepless Elite, a band of top historical figures and leaders (Napoleon, Da Vinci, Churchill and Florence Nightingale) that needed five hours or less of shut-eye.

‘Power dressing’ personified
Her sense of style was as powerful as her politics. Sporting a helmet of deep strawberry hair, broad Royal blue skirt suits, and the briefcase-esque handbag, Thatcher pioneered the bold “I’m shoulder to shoulder with men” look. Her taste for proud Britishness was reflected in her choice of classic heritage labels Asprey and Aquascutum.

Credit: Anthony Johnston, Metro World News in London

 

… And 5 facts you ought to know about Thatcher

Keen chemist: Before becoming an MP, Thatcher worked as a research chemist for British chemical companies Xylonite and Lyons & Company, where she helped develop methods for preserving ice cream.

Infamous monikers: Worldwide people know the Iron Lady, but lesser-known nicknames include The Milk Snatcher (after she removed free school milk for over-7s), Attila the Hen, The She-Elephant and Brigitte Bardot with Caligula’s eyes (thank French president Francois Mitterand for that one.)

Lowering the tone: King George VI (from movie “The King’s Speech”) wasn’t the only British ruler to get voice therapy. Thatcher had her voice changed to sound more authoritative. After intensive training with a National Theatre tutor, Thatcher’s voice was lowered by 46 hertz and has became a cross between a typical male and female voice.

A perfect wife: Despite being Britain’s prime minister for 11 and a half years, Thatcher insisted on cooking for her husband every night and never had a personal chef while in office.

Troublesome children: Her son Mark received a four-year suspended jail sentence after funding mercenaries in a 2004 coup d’état attempt in Equatorial Guinea (British backers were allegedly keen on tapping into that country’s oil and gas reserves.) Mark’s twin sister Carol made some headlines when she won a British celeb reality show in 2005 but made many more in 2009 after uttering an off-air racist comment about Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Drive charged in fatal hit and run, police…

The NYPD has arrested a man they say is responsible for a fatal hit and run in Manhattan last weekend. Doohee Cho, 33, was hit…

Local

Mayor de Blasio raises minimum wage for some…

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order Tuesday morning that will raise the minimum wage for workers employed by private companies that receive more…

National

3 myths about the working poor

Linda Tirado works to debunk some common stereotypes about the working poor in her new book, "Hand to Mouth."

Money

Lawsuit funding advances: friend or foe?

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article Many plaintiffs awaiting resolution of their lawsuit or legal claim often find themselves in a tricky financial…

Going Out

Which NYC restaurant lost its three-star Michelin rating?

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the…

Entertainment

Interview: Metro chats with filmmaker Meir Kalmanson, man…

A New York filmmaker hands out smiles to its residents.

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 30: 'Selfie,' 'Utopia'…

'Selfie' This modern day take on the "My Fair Lady" story stars John Cho in the Henry Higgins role. Perhaps instead of "the rain in…

Music

Can't-miss weekend events continue to attract the masses

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article Earlier this summer, the Firefly Music Festival drew crowds of tens of thousands of people to Dover, Delaware.…

MLB

Mets 2014 report card

The Mets wrapped up their eight straight season without a playoff appearance last weekend. Needless to say, they fell a bit short of general manager…

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys, Packers, Ravens, Chargers climb

NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys, Packers, Ravens, Chargers climb

NFL

Ryan Quigley making a big impact for Jets…

Ryan Quigley, now in his second year as the Jets punter, had an exceptional afternoon with six punts for an average of 51.7 yards per punt.

NFL

3 positives to take from Jets loss to…

The Jets suffered another loss Sunday — 24-17 to the Lions — but the reason why it hurts so much for Jets fans is that…

Style

Products that support breast cancer awareness and research

Asics GT-1000, $100 Asics’ third pink collection in collaboration with Christina Applegate’s Right Action for Women includes this pink-accented version of its best-selling GT-1000 3…

Wellbeing

Dr. Marisa Weiss: Where we stand on breast…

As an oncologist and a survivor herself, Dr. Marisa Weiss knows the urgency felt by those diagnosed with breast cancer. Genetic testing has accelerated the…

Wellbeing

Bees' stingers hold new hope for cancer cure

A promising new lead in the search for a cancer cure has turned up in a place that most people naturally avoid. A team from…

Home

Emily Henderson on small space design

Design expert Emily Henderson shows us how to upgrade our cramped quarters.