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Margaret Thatcher


Biography >> Cold War Biography:

Margaret Thatcher served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990. She was the first woman to serve in Britain's highest political office. During her time as Prime Minister she was a staunch conservative. She also was an important leader for democracy in the Cold War against communism and the Soviet Union.

Where did she grow up?

She was born Margaret Roberts in Grantham, England on October 13, 1925. Her father was a local businessman and store owner. She had an older sister, Muriel, and the family lived above her father's grocery store.

Margaret learned early on about politics from her father Alfred who served as both alderman and Mayor of Grantham. Margaret attended Oxford University where she graduated with a degree in Chemistry.

While attending Oxford, Margaret became interested in politics. She became a strong believer in a conservative government where the government has a limited amount of intervention in business. She served as president of the Oxford University Conservative Association. After graduating in 1947 she got a job working as a chemist.

Margaret Thatcher sitting down
Margaret Thatcher by Marion S. Trikosko

Margaret Enters Politics

A few years later Margaret tried running for office for the first time. She ran for the parliamentary seat in Dartford twice, losing both times. Being a conservative, she had little chance to win, but it was good experience for her. She then went back to school and earned her law degree.

Time in Parliament

In 1959 Thatcher won a seat on the House of Commons representing Finchley. She would serve there in some manner for the next 30 years.

In 1970 Margaret was appointed to the position of Education Secretary. Her position in the Conservative Party continued to rise over the next few years. In 1975 when the Conservative Party lost the majority position, she took over the leadership of the party and was the first woman to become Leader of the Opposition.

Prime Minister

Thatcher became Prime Minister on May 4, 1979. She held the top position in the United Kingdom for over 10 years. Here is a list of some of the most noteworthy events and accomplishments during this time: On November 28, 1990 Thatcher resigned from office under pressure from the conservatives that her policies on taxes were going to hurt them in the coming elections.

Life After Being Prime Minister

Margaret continued to serve as a Member of Parliament until 1992 when she retired. She remained active in politics, wrote several books, and gave speeches for the next 10 years. In 2003 her husband Denis died and she suffered a number of small strokes. She died ten years later on April 8, 2013 in London.

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