Who Is Who: Margaret Thatcher

World | April 8, 2013, Monday // 17:50|  views

A file photo dated 04 July 1996 shows Britain`s former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher after receiving a honorary degree Doctor Honoris Causa of Poznan University of Economics in Poznan, Poland. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Margaret Hilda Thatcher was born on October 13, 1925 in Grantham, Lincolnshire, the daughter of Alfred Roberts, a grocer, and his wife, Beatrice.

From 1943 to 1947, she attended Somerville College, Oxford, where she studied chemistry and, later, in 1953, qualified as a barrister, specializing in tax issues.

On December 13, 1951, she married a divorced businessman, Denis Thatcher, and began studying for the Bar exams.

She qualified as a barrister in 1953, the year in which her twins Mark and Carol were born.

In the 1950 and 1951 general elections, Thatcher ran as the Conservative candidate for the safe Labour seat of Dartford but lost both races.

When Thatcher was  first elected to the House of Commons in 1959, she was its youngest female member, aged 34.

Thatcher served from 1975 to 1990 as leader of the Conservative Party.

She served as Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990.

As Prime Minister, Thatcher pushed for privatization, lower taxes and deregulation, reduced power of trade unions.

Thatcher's popularity surged after the decisive response to the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands in April 1982.

On October 12, 1984, Thatcher narrowly escaped an IRA bombing assassination attempt at a Brighton hotel during the annual Conservative Party conference.

Thatcher was awarded the U.S. Medal of Freedom by President George H. W. Bush in 1991, a year after she stepped down as prime minister. She was named Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven after leaving office.

She retired from public life after a stroke in 2002 and suffered several smaller strokes after that. Her husband died in June 2003.

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