Margaret Thatcher

Born: 13 October 1925
Died: 8 April 2013

Occupation: Prime Minister

Challenges overcome: Dementia

Successes, Achievements & Awards:

Margaret Thatcher was Britain’s first female prime minister and is one of the most dominant political figures of the 20th century.

Born in Lincolnshire in 1925, Margaret went on to study chemistry at Oxford after leaving school. Having always had an interest in politics, Margaret became the President of the University’s Conservative Student Association, which allowed her to meet many prominent politicians at that time. After leaving university and working as a research chemist, Margaret ran as Conservative MP for Dartford. Whilst at a dinner for Conservatives, Margaret met her future husband, Denis Thatcher. The couple married in 1951 and had twins, Carol and Mark, in 1953.

In the 1950’s Margaret retrain herself as a lawyer, leaving chemistry behind. She was elected to parliament in 1959 as an MP for Finchley. Margaret then worked her way upwards through the conservative party, and became Education Secretary in 1970.

When the Conservatives lost the election in 1974, Margaret Thatcher went against party leader Edward Heath, and won, being appointed new leader of the Conservatives. She became the first woman to lead a western political party and leader of the opposition in the House of Commons.  Margaret became Prime Minister in the general elections of 1979, and served three terms as prime minister before retiring in 1990.

After 1990, Margaret Thatcher remained a strong political figure. She went on to write two best selling memoirs, all whilst touring around the world as a lecturer.

Critics and supporters alike recognise the Thatcher premiership as a period of fundamental importance in British history. Margaret Thatcher accumulated huge prestige over the course of the 1980s and often compelled the respect even of her bitterest critics. She was appointed a Member of Merit within two weeks of leaving office.

Challenges Overcome

Margaret’s daughter, Carol, spoke publicly about seeing her mother struggle with dementia, “Whereas previously you would never have had to say anything to her twice, because she’d already filed it away in her formidable memory bank, Mum started asking the same questions over and over again, unaware she was doing so. It might be something innocuous such as ‘What time is my car coming?’ or ‘When am I going to the hairdresser?’ but the fact she needed to repeat them opened a new and frightening chapter in our lives.”

Disability Definitions


Dementia is a broad category of brain diseases that cause a long term and often gradual decrease in the ability to think and remember such that a person’s daily functioning is affected.
Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease or a series of strokes. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia but not all dementia is due to Alzheimer’s. The specific symptoms that someone with dementia experiences will depend on the parts of the brain that are damaged and the disease that is causing the dementia. A person with dementia will have cognitive symptoms (problems with thinking or memory).


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Information sources:

Please click on the information links below to find out more.

Margaret Thatcher. (2015, April 22). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14:35, April 30, 2015, from  http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Margaret_Thatcher&oldid=658582283

Image source – Wikicommons

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