GREAT BRITAIN - Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died, according to confirmed reports.
She was 87. Her family reports that she passed this morning following a stroke.
Margaret Thatcher was the last person to think she'd become Britain's first female Prime Minister.
Born Margaret Roberts in 1925, the grocer's daughter became a chemist, a mother and housewife, before being elected to Parliament in 1953 as a conservative.
In 1979 she stepped up to Prime Minister, and stepped into history.
Her hard-line against the Soviets earned her the nickname The Iron Lady.
Thatcher sometimes ruled with an iron fist, smashing labor unions and sparking widespread strikes.
And built a reputation as a person who faced critics head-on.
She found a personal friend in President Ronald Reagan, an ally against Communism and a fellow supporter of the free market she believed in so deeply.
She led Britain to victory in the Falklands War in 1982. But her enemies were many.
The IRA tried to kill her by bombing a conservative Party Conference in
1984, but she didn't bat an eye.
But by the late 80's, the political tide was turning. After crushing a coal
miners strike and tax riots, her days were numbered.
By 1990, her party said it was time for her step down.
Her public appearances grew rare as her health worsened over the years.
But history will remember the Iron Lady who was not only the country's first female Prime Minister, she was one of the toughest, too.