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Inaugural Ball Nancy Reagan

Source: Allan Tannenbaum / Getty

Former First Lady Nancy Davis Reagan passed away yesterday at age 94, from congestive heart failure.  Mrs. Reagan will be laid to rest next to her husband Ronald Reagan, who passed away on June 5, 2004.  Ronald Reagan is buried in Simi Valley, California, at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

Nancy was born in New York City, where her mother was an actress.  Nancy later attended Smith College in Massachusetts, where she majored in theater.  She later signed a 7 year acting contract with MGM studios, where she appeared in eleven feature films.

Ronald Reagan was an actor and president of the Screen Actors Guild when he met Nancy in the early 50s.  They met by accident, when Nancy had to speak with Ronald about her name wrongly appearing on a published list of suspected communist sympathizers.

The two married on March 4, 1952.  They had a daughter, Patti, and son, Ron, together.  Ronald already had a daughter, Maureen, and an adopted son, Michael, from his previous marriage to actress Jane Wyman.  Ronald and Nancy Reagan were married for 52 years.

“Nancy Davis Reagan has led a remarkable life – as an adoring daughter, a loving mother, a devoted and sensitive partner, and a worthy ambassador for our country as First Lady. I have seen her cope bravely with life’s most difficult challenges, exuding grace and dignity and strength. I am so proud of this woman…I can’t imagine life without her.”  -Ronald Reagan, March 1994

nancy reagan

Source: Cynthia Johnson / Getty

Mrs. Reagan was well known for her “Just Say No” campaign, that fought drug abuse among teens.  In more recent years, she has been an advocate to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, which she watched Ronald struggle through for nearly ten years.

Before Mrs. Reagan is laid to rest, the public will be able to pay their respects to her at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.  Mrs. Reagan asked that contributions be made to the Library and Foundation.  You can read more here.

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