Margaret Thatcher, date unknown (Wikimedia Commons/Margaret Thatcher Foundation)
Before she was the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher worked with iron and other elements as an Oxford-educated chemist. At university she was influenced by conservative political writings and later ran in the 1950 and 1951 general elections for Parliament. Although she was defeated, her candidacy received significant attention as a result of her being the youngest candidate, and the only female, in the election. Subsequently she studied law, qualifying as a barrister in 1953, and devoted the rest of her life to politics. We remember Margaret Thatcher's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2013: Margaret Thatcher, English politician who was the prime minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 until 1990, dies at 87.
The Iron Lady, who ruled for 11 remarkable years, imposed her will on a fractious, rundown nation - breaking the unions, triumphing in a far-off war and selling off state industries at a record pace. She left behind a leaner government and more prosperous nation by the time a mutiny ousted her from No. 10 Downing Street. Read more
2013: Annette Funicello, U.S. actress who was best remembered for The Mickey Mouse Club and the "Beach Party" movies with Frankie Avalon, dies at 70.
The former Mouseketeer, singing star and teen idol is deeply missed, as evidenced by the 1,000+ fans who signed her Guest Book within 24 hours of its creation. In their comments posted to the Guest Book, they remembered all the things that made America love her. Read more
2010: Malcolm McLaren, English musician, clothes designer and music manager who was well-known for managing the punk band Sex Pistols, dies at 64.
For a brief period, McLaren managed Adam and the Ants, encouraging them to listen to world music for inspiration. What McLaren did next was not quite what Adam Ant had envisioned: He promptly stole all of the Ants to form a new band, Bow Wow Wow. Read more
2008: Stanley Kamel, U.S. actor who appeared on Melrose Place and Beverly Hills 90201 and had a regular role as Dr. Kroger in Monk, dies at 65.
2007: Sol LeWitt, U.S. artist who was considered one of the leaders in conceptual art, dies at 78.
Much of his art was based on variations of spheres, triangles and other basic geometric shapes. His sculptures commonly were based on cubes using precise, measured formats and carefully developed variations. LeWitt preferred to let his work speak for itself and frequently avoided media attention. Read more
2000: Claire Trevor, U.S. actress who won an Academy Award for her role in the film noir Key Largo starring opposite Humphrey Bogart, dies at 90.
1997: Laura Nyro, U.S. singer, songwriter and pianist whose songs recorded by other artists included "Wedding Bell Blues" by the Fifth Dimension and "Eli's Comin" by Three Dog Night, dies at 49.
1996: Ben Johnson, U.S. actor and stuntman who won an Academy Award for his role as "Sam the Lion" in The Last Picture Show, dies at 77.
1993: Marian Anderson, pioneering African-American contralto who was the first black singer to perform at the Metropolitan Opera, dies at 96.
1990: Ryan White, U.S. teenager who was a prominent figure for AIDS awareness after he was expelled from middle school after he became infected with the human immunodeficiency virus from a blood transfusion, dies at 18.
When White was infected with HIV from a contaminated blood treatment in 1984, AIDS was still a new disease, not widely understood and carrying great stigma. He found himself shunned by classmates and their parents – when he was finally allowed to return to school, that is. After a prolonged absence because of his illness, White was denied readmission to school, forcing his family into a monthslong legal battle with the school board. As he discussed his story with interviewers and local coverage yielded to national attention, White became a poster boy for AIDS awareness. Read more
1985: John Frederick Coots, U.S. songwriter known best for co-writing the song "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," dies at 87.
1981: Omar Bradley, U.S. Army general who was the field commander in Europe in World War II and led the Normandy invasion, dies at 88.
1978: Ford Frick, U.S. sports writer and executive who was the commissioner of Major League Baseball from 1951 until 1965, dies at 83.
1977: Frank Milan, U.S. actor who appeared on The Phil Silvers Show and Hazel, dies at 71.
1973: Pablo Picasso, Spanish artist who was one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, dies at 91.
1950: Vaslav Nijininsky, Russian dancer and choreographer who was considered the greatest male dancer of the early 20th century, dies at 61.