All Eyes photo gallery: Former first lady Nancy Reagan
Nancy Reagan, the helpmate, backstage adviser and fierce protector of Ronald Reagan in his journey from actor to president — and finally during his 10-year battle with Alzheimer's disease — died Sunday at her home in the Bel-Air section of Los Angeles of congestive heart failure. She was 94.
The Associated Press writes:
Mrs. Reagan swept into the White House in 1981, a swirl of designer gowns and pricey china, and was quickly dismissed as a pre-feminist throwback concerned only with fashion, decorating and entertaining. She needed a less frivolous image. And she got it.
By the time she packed up eight years later, the former movie actress was fending off accusations that she'd become a "dragon lady," wielding secret, unchecked power within Ronald Reagan's administration — and doing it based on astrology to boot.
All along she maintained that her only mission was to back her "Ronnie" and strengthen his presidency.
"I'm a woman who loves her husband," she said, "and I make no apologies for looking out for his personal and political welfare."