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Margaret Thatcher
A grocer's daughter, Margaret Thatcher worked her way to Oxford where she gained a degree in chemistry, going on to work for Lyons Ice Cream. Changing to study law, she was called to the Bar in 1953 before being elected MP for Finchley in 1959. In 1970, she became Secretary of State for Education. In 1975, she became leader of the Conservative Party and with the party's election success in 1979, Margaret Thatcher became Britain 's first woman Prime Minister.

Her hard-line attitudes quickly gained her the nickname "The Iron Lady" and in 1982, she showed her resolve by taking Britain into the Falklands War. Election wins in 1983 and 1987 made her one of the few prime ministers to win three successive terms. In 1990, following a leadership challenge, she left Downing Street. She was made a life peer in 1992.

Elsewhere on the web
BBC History: Baroness Thatcher 
BBC On This day: 1990: Thatcher quits as prime minister

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