A first lady beloved by her country, Nancy Reagan died on Sunday at age 94, according to multiple media but first reported by TMZ.
A family spokesperson said she'll be buried next to her husband at the Ronald Reagan Presidential library. That's the only real political function she formed for him.
In 1985, Nancy Reagan hosted an worldwide conference at the White House focusing on drug prevention among youth, attended by the first ladies of 17 countries.
"Our former First Lady redefined the role in her time here", President and Mrs. Obama said in a statement. Reagan replied, his characteristic humor and humility intact. "Science has presented us with a hope called stem-cell research, which may provide our scientists with many answers that have for so always been beyond our grasp", she said.
She is survived by two children, Patti Davis and Ronald Reagan Jr. But Anthony says Nancy Reagan had only one goal in mind - protecting her husband and his image. "I could tell she thought it was a personal experience", said Paul, who is now the Sandy Springs mayor.
After Reagan was shot by John Hinckley just three months into his presidency, he was said to have famously wisecracked to her, "Honey, I forgot to duck".
Although a feud between the first lady and chief of staff Donald Regan had spilled into the open, the president dismissed reports that it was his wife who got Regan fired.
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Tiny and frail in her later years, Reagan devoted her time to caring for her ailing husband at their home in Los Angeles' exclusive Bel Air enclave.
"Doing this at a time of recession and high unemployment made her an unwitting symbol for the Democrats of everything that was wrong about so-called Reaganomics", Anthony says. Her insistence that no president could be considered great without reaching out to Soviet leaders trumped resistance from the right wing of the GOP.
Having caught the acting bug from her mother, young Nancy pursued the profession in NY and Hollywood, where she met with fellow actor Ronald Reagan.
She had other more traditional roles at the White House, including as a spokeswoman for the anti-drug program - which was reduced to a phrase, "Just Say No". "I'm hesitant to speak for anyone else, and she's not comfortable going out in the public eye and getting in the firing line of anything. I don't think most people know it now", she said. - John Heubusch, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library.
Reagan's stepson, Michael Reagan, wrote that "she is once again with the man she loved" - a sentiment echoed by many on Twitter. She explained the decision in her 1989 memoir My Turn, writing: "Astrology was simply one of the ways I coped with the fear I felt after my husband nearly died". She lunched around town, listened to friends and foes and conveyed their opinions to Reagan with honesty, he said.
Ronald Reagan (from left), Nancy Davis Reagan and Arthur Franz co-star in the 1957 movie Hell.