WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama says former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was both a great champion of freedom and an example to women everywhere.
In a statement issued Monday by the White House, Obama said Britain's first woman prime minister showed "our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can't be shattered."
Obama says many Americans remember Thatcher, who died Monday from a stroke at age 87, standing "shoulder to shoulder" with President Ronald Reagan during the Cold War. He says she showed then that leaders don't have to be swept along by the currents of history, but can shape them "with moral conviction, unyielding courage and iron will."
Obama's full statement is below:
With the passing of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend. As a grocer’s daughter who rose to become Britain’s first female prime minister, she stands as an example to our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can’t be shattered. As prime minister, she helped restore the confidence and pride that has always been the hallmark of Britain at its best. And as an unapologetic supporter of our transatlantic alliance, she knew that with strength and resolve we could win the Cold War and extend freedom’s promise.
Here in America, many of us will never forget her standing shoulder to shoulder with President Reagan, reminding the world that we are not simply carried along by the currents of history—we can shape them with moral conviction, unyielding courage and iron will. Michelle and I send our thoughts to the Thatcher family and all the British people as we carry on the work to which she dedicated her life—free peoples standing together, determined to write our own destiny.