In her native Britain, Margaret Thatcher left behind a complex legacy that included privatization, Euroskepticism, and British revival. But in the realm of foreign policy, Thatcher will forever be associated with the Cold War.
Thatcher -- or so the narrative goes -- stood alongside Ronald Reagan and faced down communism with steely resolve. But Thatcher was no closed-minded ideologue. Her nickname, the "Iron Lady," was given to her by a Soviet newspaper following a 1976 speech in which she vowed to resist "Communist aggression," but Thatcher was also one of the first Western leaders to recognize the liberalizing potential of new Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. She stood before the U.S. Congress in 1985 and declared her firm support for Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, but she also paid visits to communist Hungary and Poland as well as the Soviet Union itself, where she held talks that helped lay the groundwork for a Reagan-Gorbachev summit. Here, we've collected pictures from the days when Margaret Thatcher was a fighter for the free world.
Above, Reagan and Thatcher wave after their arrival at Camp David on Dec. 22, 1984.
ARCHIVES UPI/AFP/Getty Images
This Jan. 23, 1976 photograph depicts Thatcher, then chairwoman of the British Conservative Party, sitting on a tank of the 7th regiment of the Royal Signals in Herford, western Germany.
Thatcher shakes hands with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Feb. 6, 1982 in London during his official visit to Britain. Mubarak remained an ally of the West in the Middle East following the death of Anwar Sadat.
Reagan and Thatcher walk together at Camp David on Nov. 6, 1986.
EPA/RONALD REAGAN PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY / HO
Thatcher greets curious Muscovites on March 29, 1987 in Moscow during her official visit to the USSR.
DANIEL JANIN/AFP/Getty Images
Thatcher visits Trinity St. Sergius monastery in Zagorsk, more than 40 miles northeast of Moscow, on March 29, 1987.
DANIEL JANIN/AFP/Getty Images
this photo dated Sept. 24, 1982, Thatcher talks with Deng Xiaoping in
the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
has a drink with Chinese President Li Xiannian, British Foreign
Minister Goeffrey Howe, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wu Xueqian in
Beijing on Dec. 19 1984.
PIERRE-ANTOINE DONNET/AFP/Getty Images
Thatcher buys Hungarian hot-red paprika in the Great Market Hall during her visit to Budapest on Feb. 4, 1984.
EPA/Attila Manek HUNGARY OUT
In this Nov. 4, 1988 photo taken in Gdansk, Poland, Thatcher walks alongside Solidarity leader Lech Walesa to the Gdansk monument commemorating shipyard workers who were killed in 1970 protests.
Thatcher poses with Gorbachev on March 30, 1987 at the start of talks at the Kremlin in Moscow.
Thatcher and Raisa Gorbachev wave to newsmen on Dec. 7, 1987 at Brize Norton RAF air base in Oxfordshire, Britain just prior to the Gorbachev couple's departure for Washington, D.C.
Thatcher is pictured with then-German Chancellor Helmut Kohl at the start of their meeting for the 19th German-British Consultations in Frankfurt Main, Germany on Feb. 21, 1989.
Thatcher talks with Czech President and former Soviet dissident Vaclav Havel at No. 10 Downing Street on Mar. 21, 1990 during Havel’s first official visit to Britain.
JOHNNY EGGITT/AFP/Getty Images
Thatcher and then-French President François
Mitterrand pose in front of the Louvre Pyramid in Paris during the
opening ceremony of the G7 summit.
JOEL ROBINE/AFP/Getty Images
Thatcher dances with U.S. President Ronald Reagan on Nov. 16, 1988 following a state dinner given in her honor at the White House.
M. SPRAGUE/AFP/Getty Images
Thatcher chats with U.S. President George Bush on March 7, 1991 in the Oval Office just before receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom -- the highest civilian honor bestowed in the United States -- in an East Room ceremony.
LUKE FRAZZA/AFP/Getty Images
Thatcher reaches out to touch Reagan’s flag-draped coffin as he lies in
state in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol on June 9, 2004.
STEPHEN JAFFE/AFP/Getty Images