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Former First Lady Nancy Reagan Dies at 94

  • VOA News

FILE - Former first lady of the United States Nancy Reagan visits the grave site of her husband, former United States President Ronald Reagan, on the 10th anniversary of his passing, in Simi Valley, California June 5, 2014.

FILE - Former first lady of the United States Nancy Reagan visits the grave site of her husband, former United States President Ronald Reagan, on the 10th anniversary of his passing, in Simi Valley, California June 5, 2014.

Former first lady Nancy Reagan, the steadfast partner of the 40th U.S. president, Ronald Reagan, died Sunday of congestive heart failure, the Reagan library announced. She was 94.

She will be buried beside her husband at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

Touching tributes have been pouring in for the former first lady, renowned for her devotion to her husband, whom she called "Ronnie."

“Nancy is where she has always wanted to be - with her Ronnie,” Michael Reagan, president of the Reagan Legacy Foundation, wrote on Twitter. “Now she is at peace.”

President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle said in a joint statement that Nancy Reagan “redefined the role” of first lady during her tenure. “Nancy Reagan once wrote that nothing could prepare you for living in the White House. She was right, of course. But we had a head start, because we were fortunate to benefit from her proud example, and her warm and generous advice,” their statement said.

“We remain grateful for Nancy Reagan’s life, thankful for her guidance, and prayerful that she and her beloved husband are together again.”

WATCH: Related video of Nancy Reagan

Former first lady Barbara Bush said in a statement: “Nancy Reagan was totally devoted to President Reagan, and we take comfort that they will be reunited once more.”

Born Anne Frances Robbins, she was given the name Nancy by her mother. Having caught the acting bug from her mother, young Nancy pursued the profession in New York and Hollywood, where she met fellow actor Ronald Reagan.

The couple married in 1952.

The former Nancy Davis made 11 films in all, her last one coming in 1956: Hellcats of the Navy, co-starring her husband.

Ronald Reagan was governor of California from 1967 to 1975. Following a failed presidential bid in 1976, he subsequently won back-to-back elections in the 1980s.

As first lady, Nancy Reagan spearheaded the "Just Say No to Drugs" campaign against substance abuse, carving a space for herself in the national movement to combat recreational drugs.

A regular presence by her husband's side, Nancy Reagan also was sharply criticized for extravagant spending at the White House at a time of high unemployment in the U.S.

By all accounts, the couple remained close until the former president died in 2004 after a decade of living with Alzheimer's disease.

They are survived by two children, Patti Davis and Ron Reagan.

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