UPDATED: After former first lady Nancy Reagan died on Sunday, it didn’t take long for tributes from the political world to start pouring in.
Reagan died in her Los Angeles home of congestive heart failure. Political figures from her stepson, Michael, to President Barack Obama quickly took to social media to remember the late actress-turned-first lady, calling on her take on the prevention of drug abuse and her love for husband Ronald Reagan.
“Nancy Reagan once wrote that nothing could prepare you for living in the White House,” reads a statement from President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. “She was right, of course. But we had a head start, because we were fortunate to benefit from her proud example, and her warm and generous advice.
Our former First Lady redefined the role in her time here. Later, in her long goodbye with President Reagan, she became a voice on behalf of millions of families going through the depleting, aching reality of Alzheimer’s, and took on a new role, as advocate, on behalf of treatments that hold the potential and the promise to improve and save lives.”
We offer our sincere condolences to their children, Patti, Ron, and Michael, and to their grandchildren. And we remain grateful for Nancy Reagan’s life, thankful for her guidance, and prayerful that she and her beloved husband are together again.”
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said in a statement, “No matter your party or political ideology, this is a sad day for America. Nancy Reagan was an exemplary first lady. A devoted partner, she was her husband’s most trusted adviser and, as such, served our country well. Even after her time in the White House, she was an outspoken advocate for stem-cell research to find a cure for Alzheimer’s. Nancy Reagan had a good heart, and she will be dearly missed.”
“Nancy is where she has always wanted to be with her Ronnie,” Michael Reagan, who is also president of the Reagan Legacy Foundation, wrote on Twitter. “Now she is at peace.”
“Nancy Reagan was totally devoted to President Reagan, and we take comfort that they will be reunited once more,” said a statement from former first lady Barbara Bush. “George and I send our prayers and condolences to her family.”
Former president George W. Bush also issued a statement on Nancy Reagan, saying: “Her influence on the White House was complete and lasting. During her time as first lady and since, she raised awareness about drug abuse and breast cancer. When we moved into the White House, we benefited from her work to make those historic rooms beautiful. Laura and I are grateful for the life of Nancy Reagan, and we send our condolences to the entire Reagan family.”
“Hillary and I were deeply saddened to learn of Nancy Reagan’s passing,” former president Bill Clinton said in a statement. “Nancy was an extraordinary woman: a gracious first lady, proud mother and devoted wife to President Reagan — her Ronnie. Her strength of character was legendary, particularly when tested by the attempted assassination of the president, and throughout his battle with Alzheimer’s. She leaves a remarkable legacy of good that includes her tireless advocacy for Alzheimer’s and the Foster Grandparent Program. We join all Americans in extending our prayers and condolences to her beloved children and her entire family during this difficult time.”
“President Reagan has been reunited with his wife and partner but the Reagan family have lost a woman of grace and strength,” said former president Jimmy Carter. “I join people from around the country and the world in sending them our best thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. A woman of strength and wit, Nancy Reagan’s dedication to our country was matched only by that of her husband. Theirs was one of our nation’s great love stories and a model of shared devotion to our country. America is stronger and better for their service.”
SAG-AFTRA president Ken Howard said, “Nancy Reagan led a remarkable life, from actor to the California governor’s mansion to the White House. She fully committed herself to whatever role she took on in life and overcame adversity with an exceptional strength of spirit. The union — and the nation — has suffered a great loss today.”
See more tributes below.