The Latest: Obamas say Nancy Reagan redefined first lady

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Posted: Mar 06, 2016 4:24 PM
The Latest: Obamas say Nancy Reagan redefined first lady

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on the death of former US first lady Nancy Reagan (all times local):

1:20 p.m.

U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama released a statement following the death of Nancy Reagan. The Obamas say Mrs. Reagan redefined the role of the first lady.

The Obamas say Mrs. Reagan became the voice of other family members going through the journey of Alzheimer's disease with a loved one.

After leaving office, President Ronald Reagan battled Alzheimer's for 10 years. During that time, Mrs. Reagan was his full-time caregiver. The former president died in 2004 and Mrs. Reagan tended to his legacy through his presidential library in Simi Valley, California.

The Obamas expressed condolences to the Reagan children and grandchildren in the statement.

Mrs. Reagan died Sunday at 94 of congestive heart failure.

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12:29 p.m.

Before she became first lady of the United States, Nancy Regan had served in that role for the state of California.

Former President Ronald Reagan was elected governor of California in 1966.

The state's present governor, Jerry Brown, issued a statement about Mrs. Reagan, who died Sunday at 94.

"Nancy Reagan lived a remarkable life and will be remembered for her strength and grace. On behalf of all Californians, Anne and I extend our deepest condolences to the Reagan family."

Mrs. Reagan died at her home in the Bel-Air section of Los Angeles of congestive heart failure, an assistant said.

Ronald Reagan served as governor from 1967-1975. He died in June 2004.

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11:57 a.m.

People remembering former US first lady Nancy Reagan have left a growing display of flowers at the main entrance gate of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California.

The library is closed and visitors are beginning to be turned away.

Sharon Hirtzer and her husband, Joe, were among the mourners outside the library Sunday. The Chicago couple were in California and had previously planned to visit the library before learning Mrs. Reagan's death on Sunday.

"I was just really said," Sharon Hirtzer said. "She was a great lady and had so much class."

Hirtzer said Mrs. Reagan brought glamour to the White House. Though Mrs. Reagan was criticized for spending habits, Hirtzer said that never bothered her.

"I was always impressed by the way she carried herself," Hirtzer said.

Mrs. Reagan was 94.

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9:07 a.m.

Former first lady Nancy Reagan has died at 94 in Bel-Air, California.

Assistant Allison Borio says Mrs. Reagan died Sunday at her home of congestive heart failure.

Her marriage to Ronald Reagan lasted 52 years until his death in 2004.

A former actress, she was Reagan's closest adviser and fierce protector on his journey from actor to governor of California to president of the United States.

She rushed to his side after he was shot in 1981 by a would-be assassin, and later endured his nearly decade-long battle with Alzheimer's disease. In recent years she broke with fellow Republicans in backing stem cell research as a way to possibly find a cure for Alzheimer's.