LOS ANGELES (AP) – 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.

Statement from Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on the Passing of Nancy Reagan:

Rosalynn and I are saddened by the passing of former First Lady Nancy Reagan. She will always be admired for her strength of conviction and her lifelong devotion to her husband. Her “just say no” campaign prevented many young people from falling prey to the allure of drug use; and her advocacy for stem cell research raised public awareness and influenced decision makers about vital research for Alzheimer’s disease. We extend our condolences to her family at this difficult time.
TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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