Love her or loathe her, one thing’s beyond dispute: Margaret Thatcher transformed Britain. The Iron Lady who ruled for 11 remarkable years imposed her will on a fractious, rundown nation _ breaking the unions, triumphing in a far-off war, and selling off state industries at a record pace. She left behind a leaner government and more prosperous nation by the time a mutiny ousted her from No. 10 Downing Street.
Thatcher wrote several best-selling memoirs after leaving office and was a frequent speaker on the international circuit before she suffered several small strokes that in 2002 led her to curtail her lucrative public speaking career.
Thatcher’s former spokesman, Tim Bell, said that the former prime minister had died Monday morning of a stroke. She was 87. Thatcher’s later years were marred by her son Mark Thatcher’s murky involvement in bankrolling a 2004 coup in Equatorial Guinea. He was fined and received a suspended sentence for his role in the tawdry affair. She suffered from dementia in her final years, and her public appearances became increasingly rare.
She is survived by her two children, Mark Thatcher and Carol Thatcher, and her grandchildren.