Margaret Hilda Thatcher, former prime minister of the United Kingdom, stateswoman, and barrister, passed away on Monday, April 8, at the age of 87.
Originally a research chemist, then a barrister, Thatcher rose to prominence when she was elected to Parliament to represent Finchley in 1959. Edward Heath appointed her Secretary of State for Education and Science in 1970; in 1975 Thatcher defeated Heath in the Conservative Party leadership election and became leader of the opposition.
She was elected prime minister in 1979, Thatcher instituted a series of political and economic initiatives she saw as necessary to reverse England's perceived decline on both the domestic and international stage. Her agenda emphasized deregulation, privatization, market capitalism, and reducing the power of trade unions. These policies were seen as harsh and radical by many, until economic resurgence and the 1982 Falklands War resulted in her re-election.
Margaret Thatcher is survived by her children, Mark and Carol.