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Baroness Thatcher, 1925 - 2013

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Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the former British prime minister and one of the most powerful Cold War era leaders in the world, died Monday.

"It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning," a statement from her spokesman, Lord Tim Bell, said.

Thatcher rose to power in 1979 and implemented a series of radical economic reforms to the then-troubled British economy, including the privatization of several industries. She served as prime minister for 11 years.

A strong friend of President Ronald Reagan, Thatcher was a major advocate of the U.S. position in the Cold War.

Thatcher was born Margaret Roberts in 1925 to a grocer in Grantham, England.

Her funeral will be held at St. Paul's Cathedral with full military honors.

The White House released the following statement Monday morning hailing Thatcher as "one of the great champions of freedom and liberty" who "helped restore the confidence and pride" of Britain:

With the passing of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend. As a grocer’s daughter who rose to become Britain’s first female prime minister, she stands as an example to our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can’t be shattered. As prime minister, she helped restore the confidence and pride that has always been the hallmark of Britain at its best. And as an unapologetic supporter of our transatlantic alliance, she knew that with strength and resolve we could win the Cold War and extend freedom’s promise.

Here in America, many of us will never forget her standing shoulder to shoulder with President Reagan, reminding the world that we are not simply carried along by the currents of history—we can shape them with moral conviction, unyielding courage and iron will. Michelle and I send our thoughts to the Thatcher family and all the British people as we carry on the work to which she dedicated her life—free peoples standing together, determined to write our own destiny.

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