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Nancy Reagan 1921-2016

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Former First Lady Nancy Reagan's official portrait

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan died on Sunday morning at the age of 94 at her Lost Angeles home. She was President Ronald Reagan’s most devoted fan and most trusted advisor.

In a Sunday interview with Fox News (video below), K.T. McFarland recalls a story, told often by former Soviet Union Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko, of Mrs. Reagan’s quiet behind-the-scenes influence in securing a post-Cold War US-Soviet Union peace and arms resolution agreement.

Mrs. Reagan had been privately urging the president in this direction for some time, and worked behind the scenes with White House Chief of Staff James Baker, National Security Adviser Bud McFarlane and Secretary of State George Shultz to make it happen. They arranged for Mrs. Reagan to have her own, separate role in the landmark event.

She welcomed Gromyko to the White House at a reception prior to the lunch. When she greeted Gromyko, he leaned down to her and said, “Does your husband believe in peace?”

She responded, “Yes, of course.”

Gromkyo responded, “Then whisper ‘peace’ in your husband’s ear every night.”

Without missing a beat, Mrs. Reagan replied, “I will. And I’ll also whisper it in your ear.”

Gromyko repeated the story many times over the years. It was a clear and unmistakable message coming from President’s Reagan’s closet and most influential adviser — his wife — that they had turned a new page in the relationship.  The rest is history.

A Love Story

Nancy and Ronald Reagan’s 52-year-marriage was a great love story.

She worked tirelessly to protect her husband’s legacy, choosing to entrust the ownership and preservation of the Reagans’ family ranch to the Young America’s Foundation for future generations (video tribute below).  YAF’s Reagan Ranch Center is the site of CBLPI’s Western Women’s Summit, which includes a tour of Rancho del Ceilo.

Along with so many others, we at the Luce Institute celebrate the life of this elegant, gracious lady.

Nancy Reagan during Vogue photoshoot-Reagan LibraryReagan-Nancy-during Vogue photoshoot-Presidential Library

First Lady Nancy Reagan during a Vogue photoshoot – Reagan Library