12 Nancy Reagan Quotes to Live By

Nancy Reagan, former first lady of the United States, passed away Sunday of congestive heart failure at the age of 94. She was an actress, an advocate and an invaluable partner to her husband, former President Ronald Reagan.

"My life really began when I married my husband," Nancy once said, and she remained devoted to husband Ronald through their 52 years of marriage. She was his number one fan, supporting him through every political journey he decided to embark on, and she "[couldn’t] imagine life without him."

This support manifested itself in a number of ways. When an attempt was made on her husband's life in 1981, Nancy assumed the role of Ronald's "chief protector." As she waited in the emergency room with her husband following the incident, she fended off members of the press and other people who tried to gain access to the president's hospital room. One of these people was Senator Strom Thurmond, who bypassed Secret Service by saying he was a close friend of the Reagans. He was no match for Nancy, however. And in 1982, Nancy launched "Just Say No," a campaign that sought to decrease recreational drug use. This was part of the "War on Drugs" and Nancy's primary advocacy focus as first lady. She visited drug rehabilitation programs across the country, raised awareness with appearances on numerous television programs and teamed up with the Girl Scouts of the United States of America as part of her efforts.

"If you can save just one child, it's worth it," she said of the campaign. After her husband passed away in 2004, Nancy remained involved in politics — namely to push forward advances in stem cell research. She was particularly passionate about the issue as she hoped the research could cure Alzheimer's Disease, which Ronald spent the last decade of his life battling.

Check out some of her best quotes by clicking through the gallery above.

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Photo Credit:Diana Walker/Liaison//Getty Images


1. On taking advantage of opportunities 

2. On living life to the fullest  

3. On the work/life balance    

4. On following your heart  

5. On being yourself  

6. On transience    

7. On staying optimistic    

8. On living confidently    

9. On feminism    

10. On getting through the tough times    

11. On generosity    

12. On moving on from mistakes