Britain's 'Iron Lady' Margaret Thatcher Dies

Business Leaders Reuters

Margaret Thatcher, the "Iron Lady" who dominated British politics for two decades, died on Monday following a stroke, a spokesman for her family said. She was 87.

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Britain's only woman prime minister, the tough, outspoken Thatcher led the Conservatives to three election victories, governing from 1979 to 1990, the longest continuous period in office by a British prime minister since the early 19th century.

"It was with great sadness that I learned of Lady Thatcher's death," Prime Minister David Cameron said. "We've lost a great leader, a great Prime Minister and a great Briton."

Thatcher died peacefully on Monday morning, said Lord Tim Bell, a spokesman for the Thatcher family.

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

A grocer's daughter with a steely resolve, she became loved and loathed in equal measure as she crushed the unions and privatized vast swathes of British industry.

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Queen Elizabeth said she was sad to hear the news of Thatcher's death and sent a message of sympathy to her family.