For the final decade of Ronald Reagan's life, Nancy Reagan conducted what she called a "long goodbye", described in Newsweek as "10 years of exacting caregiving, hurried lunches with friends" and "hours spent with old love letters and powerful advocacy for new research into cures for the disease that was taking Ronnie from her". She nudged him to publicly accept responsibility for the arms-for-hostages scandal.
The ceremony is set to take place at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. After his death in June 2004 she dedicated herself to tending his legacy, especially at his presidential library in California, where he had served as governor. She will likely be remembered as a first lady who truly impacted the U.S.in a positive way. She is once again with the man she loved. She was criticized for financing these pet projects with donations from millionaires who might seek influence with the government, and for accepting gifts and loans of dresses worth thousands of dollars from top designers.
"I don't think that she ever had another day during his presidency where there wasn't some sort of fear involved and particularly, of course, when he went out in public", he said. Loyal Davis, a wealthy Chicago neurosurgeon who gave Nancy his name and a socialite's home.
After graduation from elite Smith College, she worked as a nurse's aide, then began a stage career in NY.
In 1949, MGM signed 5-foot-4, doe-eyed brunette Nancy Davis to a movie contract.
In 1988, she addressed the U.N. General Assembly, saying the United States must do more with tougher law enforcement and anti-drug education efforts and should stop blaming the poor nations that produce most of the narcotics used by Americans. In "Donovan's Brain", she played the wife of a scientist possessed by disembodied gray matter. Having caught the acting bug from her mother, young Nancy pursued the profession in NY and Hollywood, where she met fellow actor Ronald Reagan.
"In most good marriages that I know of, the woman is her husband's closest friend and adviser", she wrote in her 1989 memoir, "My Turn".
Then Wednesday two years later, on March 4, 1952. She and her husband launched the Reagan Research Institute to further the study of Alzheimer's.
Besides her son and daughter, survivors include Reagan's stepson, Michael Reagan, and her brother, Dr. Richard Davis. She found it a surprisingly rough business.