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Margaret Thatcher's Biography

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Margaret Hilda Roberts Thatcher was born on 13 October 1925 in Grantham, Lincolnshire. She was, famously, the daughter of a grocer.

Margaret Thatcher studied chemistry at Somerville College, Oxford. In 1951 she married businessman Denis Thatcher.

She entered Parliament when she won the Finchley constituency in 1959. Margaret Thatcher was heavily criticised when as Secretary of State for Education and Science (a post she held in the Heath government of 1970-1974), she abolished free milk for over eights at school.

Margaret Thatcher was Conservative Party leader 1975-1990, replacing Ted Heath, and went to on to become Britain's first woman Prime Minister from 1979-1990.

Originally dubbed the "Iron Lady" by a Soviet newspaper, Red Star, Margaret Thatcher took a tough stance not just on the Cold War but on most things. She significantly decreased the power of the Unions. She also appealed to the patriotic vote when she took Britain to war to recapture The Falklands from Argentina.

In 1984 she faced down a 12 month miners' strike. In October that year she narrowly escaped death when the IRA bombed her hotel at the Conservative Party Conference in Brighton.

Margaret Thatcher had enforced right-wing politics, with greater scope for the free-market, and a programme of privatisation; but towards the end of her period in charge she faced growing dismay over the "poll tax" (from the country) and her Eurosceptic stance (from senior figures in the Conservative party).

Margaret Thatcher's leadership was challenged in November 1990 and she was eventually replaced by John Major.

Former Labour Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, described her as "the best man the Conservatives have got" and on a similar note, a very different character, Ronald Reagan called her: "the best man in England".

In 1992 she became Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven.

According to her daughter, Carol Thatcher, Margaret Thatcher was a great fan of Strictly Come Dancing.

In 1979, in a revealing interview with The Sun, Margaret Thatcher revealed she was 5ft 5in tall, took a size 14 in dresses, and weighed 9½ stone.

In January 2010, The Margaret Thatcher Foundation released yet more documents relating to the former Prime Minister into the public domain.

Baroness Thatcher died on 8 April 2013 at the age of 87 after suffering a stroke.

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