Margaret Thatcher:  A Life of Conviction and Confrontation

By Bloomberg Photos - 2013-04-08T14:56:51Z

Photograph by  Hulton-Deutsch Collection

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Margaret Thatcher, the former U.K. prime minister who helped end the Cold War and was known as the “Iron Lady” for her uncompromising style, died April 8. She was 87.

“She had a stroke this morning and died peacefully,” her spokesman, Tim Bell, said on Sky News television on April 8. “We’ll never see the like of her again. She was one of the great prime ministers of all times. She transformed people’s lives.”

When Thatcher's Conservative Party took office in 1979, Britain’s trade unions were strong enough to knock out party leaders they opposed, and key industries, including utilities, were state-owned. By the time she stepped down 11 years later, her arguments for free-market economics, lower taxes and deregulated financial markets had been adopted across the nation’s political spectrum.

Left, Margaret Thatcher on a canvassing tour of her constituency in 1951.