As first lady, Mrs. Reagan came under sharp criticism for focusing on designer clothes and White House parties, while sometimes ignoring important social issues.
Her husband's decade-long struggle against Alzheimer's changed all that, thrusting her into a political battle over the funding of stem cell research that is opposed by anti-abortion activists and the Bush administration.
From CNN / AP (06/05/04):
As the years progressed, Reagan gradually slipped from public view, although Mrs. Reagan continued to make appearances on his behalf. Reagan's older daughter, Maureen, became a staunch advocate for Alzheimer's research, and the family -- often fractious in the past -- drew together for strength and support.
Read Nick Assinder's article, A meeting of minds, for an interesting piece on the relationship between Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.
Go to the Politburo Diktat for a list of links on the death of Ronald Reagan.