Nancy Reagan, one of the most high-profile and influential first ladies of the 20th century, has died. She was 94.
The cause of death was congestive heart failure, according to her rep Joanne Drake, a spokeswoman with the Reagan Library.
“Mrs. Reagan will be buried at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, next to her husband, Ronald Wilson Reagan, who died on June 5, 2004,” Drake wrote in a statement.
“Prior to the funeral service, there will be an opportunity for members of the public to pay their respects at the Library.”
“It is a very sad day,” former Ronald Reagan Chief of Staff Ken Duberstein told NBC News. “Every time she was in the room, he was better, and every time he was in the room she was better. She brought a sense of class and dignity and elegance that everybody admired.”
Her step-son Michael Reagan posted on Facebook: “She is once again with the man she loved. God Bless.”
“We remain grateful for Nancy Reagan’s life, thankful for her guidance, and prayerful that she and her beloved husband are together again,” President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama said in a statement.
Barbara Bush, another influential former first lady, said in a statement: “Nancy Reagan was totally devoted to President Reagan, and we take comfort that they will be reunited once more. George and I send our prayers and condolences to her family.”
Reagan was also a Girl Scout and named honorary president of the Girl Scouts as first lady. The Girl Scouts of America said in a statement that Reagan would be remembered for her “courage, confidence and character.”
In lieu of flowers, Mrs. Reagan asked that contributions be made to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Foundation at www.reaganlibrary.com, Drake said.
Nancy Reagan was born in New York City and when she was six her mother, Edith, a stage actress, married Dr. Loyal Davis, a neurosurgeon. The doctor adopted Nancy and she grew up in Chicago. She later attended Smith College in Massachusetts, where she majored in theater.
Reagan was an actress when she met Ronald Reagan in the early 1950s, then an actor and president of the Screen Actors Guild, according to a White House bio.