Skip to main content

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan, known for fight against drug abuse, dies

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Nancy Reagan, the former First Lady of the United States, died of congestive heart failure Sunday morning. She was 94.

The Reagan Foundation confirmed Reagan's death Sunday, noting she will be buried at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, next to her husband.

Nancy Reagan was born July 6, 1921, in New York City and was raised in Chicago, before going on to study at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and eventually making her way to California, where she became an actress and met Ronald Reagan to begin their storied love affair.

As first lady, she was both praised and criticized, National Public Radio reports. She was questioned for redecorating the White House during tough economic times and for meddling in White House affairs, but she was also credited for her campaign to fight drug and alcohol abuse among America's youth with her "Just Say No" campaignher bio says.

After leaving office in 1989, she established the Nancy Reagan Foundation to continue her campaign to fight drugs. The foundation teamed up with the BEST Foundation For a Drug-Free Tomorrow to develop the Nancy Reagan Afterschool Program, a drug prevention and life-skills program for youth.

She made her husband's health her priority when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in 1994, and cared for him until his death in 2004. Following his death, she worked to promote husband's legacy through the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, her bio says.

The former first lady was also a strong advocate for using stem cell research to learn more about Alzheimer's and other diseases, the Huffington Post reports.

Politicians, including some from Minnesota, and others have taken to social media to share their condolences and memories of Nancy Reagan.

Minnesota was the only state Ronald Reagan did not win when he ran for re-election in 1984. Minnesotans threw their support behind former Vice President Walter Mondale.

Next Up

Image (1)

School bus carrying students plunges into river southwest of Fargo

None of the kids suffered life-threatening injuries, though some were taken to area hospitals.

Richfield High School

Richfield High School cancels weekend events after shooting

Two men were shot outside the school's football stadium

Screen Shot 2022-09-23 at 10.21.38 PM

Sound of shots, mass panic at Richfield football game streamed live on YouTube

Gunfire caused panic at a varsity football game Friday night.

J. Gordon

K-9 search leads to $36K fentanyl seizure during traffic stop

A traffic stop was made after the vehicle was seen speeding through the area.

Screen Shot 2022-09-23 at 5.20.08 PM

Gov. Walz reacts to Tuesday death of Mankato West student

The governor is a former geography teacher at the high school.

court room

Teen pleads guilty to Minneapolis carjacking, admits to others

The man was yanked out of the vehicle by witnesses before fleeing the scene.

Federal court house

Three plead guilty to roles in murder on Red Lake Reservation

The 2019 murder left another person seriously injured.


Sheriff: Heifer shot and butchered on farmer's pasture near Aitkin

Anyone with information regarding the incident is encouraged to call the Clearwater County Sheriff's Office.


Minneapolis murder suspect arrested in Wisconsin

The man has been wanted by police since the shooting happened in April.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Charges: Man kidnapped woman at gunpoint, forced her to withdraw $1,500

The 56-year-old suspect is accused of forcing the woman to the Seward neighborhood in Minneapolis.

police lights

Police arrest suspect in Oakdale after 10-hour standoff

The standoff with police lasted over 10 hours Friday.