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Margaret Thatcher

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Margaret Thatcher was born on October 13, 1925 in Grantham, England, the younger daughter of Alfred and Beatrice Roberts. Her father was a greengrocer and respected town leader, serving as lay-leader with their church, city-alderman and then as mayor. He taught Margaret never to do things because other people are doing them; do what you think is right and persuade others to follow you. She attended Oxford University from 1943 to 1947 and earned a degree in Chemistry, but it was clear from early on that politics was her true calling. She stood as a Conservative candidate from Dartford in the 1950 and 1951 elections. She married Denis Thatcher in December 1951 and they had twin children, Mark Thatcher and Carol Thatcher. She practiced tax law for a time in the 1950s, but was elected to Parliament from Finchley in 1959. Two years later, she was appointed to the cabinet as Minister of Pensions. In 1970, she was appointed Minister for Education and earned the title "Thatcher the Milk Snatcher", for eliminating free milk for schoolchildren in a round of budget-cutting. After the Conservative Party lost both general elections in 1974, she defeated Edward Heath for the leadership of the party. She was elected Prime Minister in May 1979 and served for eleven and a half years, longer than any other British Prime Minister in the 20th Century. As Prime Minister, she was staunchly capitalist and bent on wiping socialism from the face of Britain. During her tenure, she cut direct taxes, spending and regulations, privatized state-industries and state-housing, reformed the education, health and welfare systems, was tough on crime and espoused traditional values. Her time in office was eventful, having to contend with an economic recession, inner-city riots and a miners' strike. Her first great triumph in office was the Falklands War in 1982, when she sent British troops to reclaim British possessions off the coast of South America that had been invaded and occupied by Argentina. The British won that war and it showed the world that Britain was once again a power to be reckoned with. Her time in office saw unprecedented economic prosperity among the middle and upper classes, but this was contrasted by unemployment levels not seen since the 1930s, a rise in homelessness and the end of Britain's major industries. She was a staunch political ally of Republican American President Ronald Reagan. They both advocated tough foreign and defence policies, but they also developed a constructive relationship with reforming Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev which helped to bring the Cold War to an end. Thatcher also persuaded President George Bush to send troops to Saudi Arabia right after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990. Her staunch advocacy of the Poll Tax and her refusal to endorse a common currency for Europe led the Conservative party to force her out of office in a bloody internal coup. She was forced to resign as Prime Minister in November 1990. Since she left office, she was introduced to the House of Lords in 1992 as Baroness Thatcher. She travelled the world, touring the lecture circuit promoting her causes and was president of numerous organizations dedicated to her causes. In the last few years, her health suffered and she no longer spoke in public.  See full bio on IMDb »

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