LONDON (AP) - Ex-spokesman Tim Bell says that former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died. She was 87.
Bell said the woman known to friends and foes as "the Iron Lady" passed away Monday morning.
During 11 bruising years as prime minister, Thatcher found a fellow believer in former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, transformed her country by a ruthless dedication to free markets and infuriated European allies.
Thatcher retired from public engagements in 2002 following a series of small strokes, and was only occasionally seen in public since then.
Obama: Thatcher was champion for freedom and women
WASHINGTON (AP) - President 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, who died Monday from a stroke at age 87, 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."
Congressman, Senators remember Thatcher
Texas senator Ted Cruz issued this statement:
Today the world mourns the loss of an extraordinary leader, the great Margaret Thatcher.
Utterly fearless, she never once went wobbly. Rejecting the failures of socialism, she won the argument for liberty, and her name is synonymous with the policies that restored peace, prosperity, growth, and stability at a time when it seemed like the United Kingdom had none.
It was truly a Providential blessing that she served alongside President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II -- together the three of them stood unshakable, defended humanity, and won the Cold War without firing a shot. Her magnificent intellect and unwavering work ethic helped her become Britain's first and only female prime minister -- an ascent that wasn't a matter of breaking through the glass ceiling, but simply refusing to acknowledge its existence.
The world will forever be in her debt; Lady Thatcher was one of kind. Long live the memory of our dearly departed Iron Lady.
Senator John Cornyn issued this statement:
Formidable in every respect, Margaret Thatcher was a steadfast defender of liberty, a fierce advocate of freedom, and a great friend to the United States. She never hesitated to remind Americans of our own obligations to the cause of freedom and the need for political courage to do what is right in the face of overwhelming adversity.
Today, Americans and all freedom-loving people around the world mourn her passing. We will remember Lady Thatcher not only as the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, but as a transformative figure who revitalized her country and stared down tyranny. She was a loving mother, a devoted wife, and a supporter of liberty. May she rest in peace, and may we honor her memory through an unwavering commitment to freedom and individualism.
Lubbock Congressman Randy Neugebauer released this statement:
With Margaret Thatcher’s passing, we have lost one of history’s great conservative leaders. While we memorialize her many achievements, Dana and I also extend our prayers and deepest sympathies to her family and friends.
Lady Thatcher was a rare leader whose influence stretched far beyond the time and place of her position. She believed in the tremendous potential of each individual, and fought to restore personal freedom. Alongside President Ronald Reagan, she was instrumental in opposing the spread of communism. Her commitment to liberty, democracy, and small government inspired generations of conservatives and will continue to do so for years to come.
Lady Thatcher will be greatly missed, but her ideals will endure.
Here are other memorable quotes from Thatcher's public life, compiled by the Associated Press:
"There are dangers in consensus: it could be an attempt to satisfy people holding no particular views about anything. ... No great party can survive except on the basis of firm beliefs about what it wants to do." -- Oct. 10, 1968, Conservative Party conference.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I stand before you tonight in my red chiffon evening gown, my face softly made up, my fair hair gently waved ... the Iron Lady of the Western World. Me? A Cold War warrior? Well, yes -- if that is how they wish to interpret my defense of values of freedoms fundamental to our way of life." Jan. 31, 1976.
"You turn if you want to; the lady's not for turning." -- Conservative Party Conference, Oct. 10, 1980.
"When you've spent half your political life dealing with humdrum issues like the environment, it's exciting to have a real crisis on your hands." -- May 14, 1982, commenting on the Falkland Islands war.
"We fought to show that aggression does not pay and that the robber cannot be allowed to get away with his swag. We fought with the support of so many throughout the world. ... Yet we also fought alone." -- July 3, 1982, on the Falkland Islands war.
"I was asked whether I was trying to restore Victorian values. I said straight out I was. And I am." July 21, 1983, speech to British Jewish Community.
"There is no week, nor day, nor hour, when tyranny may not enter upon this country, if the people lose their supreme confidence in themselves, and lose their roughness and spirit of defiance. Tyranny may always enter -- there is no charm or bar against it." -- July 19, 1984, during the coal miners' strike.
"We can do business together." Dec. 17, 1984, speaking of Mikhail Gorbachev.
"No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he'd only had good intentions. He had money as well." Jan. 6, 1986, television interview.
"There is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families." Oct. 31, 1987, magazine interview.
"We are a grandmother." -- March 3, 1989, announcing the birth of her first grandchild.
"If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time and you would achieve nothing." -- May 3, 1989, commenting on her 10th anniversary as prime minister.
"I am not immortal, but I've got a lot left in me yet." -- Sept. 9, 1990.
"I cannot imagine how any diplomat, or any dramatist, could improve on (Ronald Reagan's) words to Mikhail Gorbachev at the Geneva summit: 'Let me tell you why it is we distrust you.' Those words are candid and tough and they cannot have been easy to hear. But they are also a clear invitation to a new beginning and a new relationship that would be rooted in trust." - Eulogy at funeral of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, June 11, 2004