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Margaret Hilda Roberts was born on October 13, 1925, in Lincolnshire, England. Known as the Iron Lady, she was a British stateswoman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. She was the first female British Prime Minister.
Thatcher was elected Member of Parliament for Finchley in 1959. On becoming Prime Minister after winning the 1979 general election, she introduced a series of economic policies intended to reverse high unemployment and Britain's struggles in the wake of the Winter of Discontent and an ongoing recession. Her political philosophy and economic policies emphasised deregulation (particularly of the financial sector), flexible labour markets, the privatisation of state-owned companies, and reducing the power and influence of trade unions. Her popularity in her first years in office waned amid recession and rising unemployment, until victory in the 1982 Falklands War and the recovering economy brought a resurgence of support, resulting in her landslide re-election in 1983.
Thatcher was re-elected for a third term with another landslide in 1987, but her subsequent support for the Community Charge ("poll tax") was widely unpopular, and her increasingly Eurosceptic views on the European Community were not shared by others in her Cabinet. She resigned as Prime Minister and party leader in November 1990, after Michael Heseltine launched a challenge to her leadership.
In 2013, she died of a stroke at the Ritz Hotel in London, at the age of 87.
Although a controversial figure in British political culture, Thatcher is nonetheless viewed favourably in historical rankings of British prime ministers. Her tenure constituted a realignment towards neoliberal policies in the United Kingdom and debate over the complicated legacy of Thatcherism persists into the 21st century.