Former first lady Nancy Reagan, wife of President Ronald Reagan, who was perhaps best known for her "Just Say No" campaign to combat drug abuse in the 1980s, died Sunday, March 6, 2016, at her home in Los Angeles, a family spokesman said. She was 94.
In addition to her famous campaign against drugs, the one-time actress promoted several other causes during and after her years in the White House. She was a passionate advocate for lifting restrictions on stem cell research, and for promoting better treatment of America's veterans.
Pictured: Former President Ronald Reagan and former first lady Nancy Reagan pose for a photo on March 8, 1992.
Anne Frances "Nancy" Robbins was born on July 6, 1921 in New York City to a car salesman and an actress. After her parents divorced, Nancy was raised by an aunt in Maryland while her mother returned to the stage. Edith Robbins' second husband, a Chicago doctor named Loyal Davis, adopted Nancy in 1938.
After receiving a degree in dramatic arts from Smith College, Nancy Davis pursued an acting career of her own. She performed on Broadway in the musical "Lute Song," then landed a Hollywood contract with MGM in 1949. She ultimately appeared in 11 feature films, including "East Side, West Side," "The Next Voice You Hear," and "Donovan's Brain."
Nancy Davis is pictured with her parents, Dr. Loyal Davis and Edith Davis, in Hollywood, California, in the 1940s.
Nancy met Ronald Reagan in 1951, when he was president of the Screen Actors Guild, and they married the following year. The couple would have two children together: Patricia Ann (born in 1952) and Ronald Prescott (born in 1958). (Reagan had two children from his previous marriage to Jane Wyman.)
Pictured: Ronald and Nancy Reagan cut their wedding cake at the home of Bill and Ardis Holden in Toluca Lake, California, March 4, 1952.
"Hellcats of the Navy"
Among Nancy Davis' last movies was "Hellcats of the Navy" (1956), in which she appeared with her husband, Ronald Reagan.
Nancy and Ronald Reagan in the 1950s.
Ronald and Nancy Reagan are pictured with their children, Ron Jr. and Patti, outside their Pacific Palisades Home, c. 1960.
Ronald and Nancy Reagan aboard a sailboat off Southern California, August 1964.
California Governor Ronald Reagan hugs his wife, Nancy, in his Sacramento office in April 1967. Reagan served two terms in the Governor's office, from 1967 to 1975.
During the 1980 presidential race against Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan's aides were intent on maintaining his image as an affable down-to-earth candidate. So Nancy Reagan played the role of the attack dog, lambasting Jimmy Carter in a TV ad.
The future first lady presents herself as deeply offended by Carter's insinuations about her husband before asking her opponent to explain "why inflation is as high as it is, why unemployment is as high as it is," and why he promoted a "vacillating, weak foreign policy."
President Reagan and Nancy Reagan wave during the Inaugural Parade in Washington, D.C., January 20, 1981.
President Ronald Reagan approaches his wife, first lady Nancy Reagan, as she dances with Frank Sinatra during a party in the East Room of the White House on February 6, 1981.
A portrait of President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan taken in the Blue Room of the White House, March 4, 1981.
President Ronald Reagan is photographed with Nancy Reagan inside George Washington University Hospital on April 3, 1981, four days after he was wounded by gunfire in an assassination attempt.
Mother and Son
First lady Nancy Reagan rides a tandem bicycle with her son, Ron Reagan Jr, on the South Grounds of the White House, Washington, D.C., April 22, 1981.
A portrait of President and Mrs. Reagan on the South Lawn of the White House, November 22, 1981.
The Blue Room
First lady Nancy Reagan stands in front of the White House Christmas Tree in the Blue Room on Dec. 7, 1981.
While known for her positive causes, Nancy Reagan also drew criticism for some of her actions as first lady. After deciding to renovate and redecorate the White House during her husband's first term, the first lady was castigated for spending lavishly during a recession.
"I didn't want to redo the White House in my own image, but I did want to restore it," she wrote in her 1989 memoir, "My Turn."
As part of her Foster Grandparents Program, first lady Nancy Reagan visits Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, October 27, 1982.
First lady Nancy Reagan attends the annual Gridiron Club Dinner in Washington, D.C., disguised in "second-hand clothes," March 27, 1982.
An official portrait of the first lady taken on February 1, 1983.
Reagan also used her 1989 memoir to address the even harsher scrutiny she received for turning to astrology to at times adjust her husband's schedule, following the 1981 assassination attempt on the president. "Astrology was simply one of the ways I coped with the fear I felt after my husband almost died," she wrote. Nancy Reagan's use of astrology in the White House was revealed by Mr. Reagan's chief of staff, Donald Regan, after he was replaced.
Mary Jo Catlett, Dana Plato, Conrad Bain, Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges and Nancy Reagan are pictured on the set of the TV series "Diff'rent Strokes." The episode, which aired in April 1983, featured a cameo by the first lady asking young people to "Just say no" to drugs.
Nancy Reagan and Mr. T
First lady Nancy Reagan sits with Mr. T, dressed as Santa Claus, after reviewing White House Christmas Decorations with the press on Dec. 12, 1983.
President Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan peer out of a World War II bunker during a visit to Pointe du Hoc in Normandy, France -- the site of the D-Day invasion -- in this June 6, 1984 photo.
1984 Republican National Convention
Vice President George H.W. Bush, Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan and President Ronald Reagan at the Republican National Convention in Dallas, in August 1984.
Vanity Fair Magazine
President Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan, photographed by Harry Benson, for the June 1985 cover of Vanity Fair.
"It was a perfect time," said Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, of the magazine's rebirth during the Reagan Era. "It was just the beginning of what I would like to call the Age of Money. The people with money were more showy with the money, which is sort of not great for society, but it's very good for journalists maybe, because it gives you something to write about."
The Reagans and Royalty
President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, welcome Princess Diana and her husband, Prince Charles, at the White House, November 9, 1985. The royal couple arrived for a three-day visit to Washington before traveling on to Florida.
"The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers"
Talk show host Joan Rivers, right, talks with her guest, first lady Nancy Reagan, during her appearance on "The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers," Oct. 30, 1986.
Andrews Air Force Base
Following the president's return from London after completing the fourth superpower summit in Moscow, President Ronald Reagan shakes hands with Vice President George Bush as First Lady Nancy Reagan looks on, June 3, 1988, at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland.
President Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan wave before leaving for Camp David on Nov. 14, 1988, in Washington.
"Christmas in Washington"
Nancy Reagan in a photo shoot for "Christmas in Washington" special in the Library on Dec. 8, 1988.
President Ronald Reagan and wife Nancy Reagan prepare to leave Washington on Jan. 20, 1989, after George H.W. Bush took the oath of office as the 41st President.
The former first lady devoted much of the next decade to caring for her ailing husband. She became an advocate for stem cell research in the hopes of finding a cure for Alzheimer's, often placing her at odds with the Republican Party.
William Windom, left, shows a swagger stick to "Murder She Wrote" star Angela Lansbury (center) and former first lady Nancy Reagan, prior to Lansbury being presented the Caritas Award by Mrs. Reagan, in Beverly Hills, Calif, Saturday, March 23, 1996. The award, by the Irene Dunne Guild and Saint John's Hospital and Health Center Foundation, is given annually for civic and humanitarian efforts in Los Angeles.
Margaret Thatcher and Nancy Reagan
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher poses with former first lady Nancy Reagan after receiving the Ronald Reagan Freedom Award at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., October 27, 1998.
2000 Republican National Convention
Former first lady Nancy Reagan waves to the crowd at the 2000 Republican National Convention at the First Union Center in Philadelphia on Aug. 1, 2000.
2000 Republican National Convention
Former President Gerald Ford, former First Lady Barbara Bush, former President George H.W. Bush and former first lady Nancy Reagan at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, August 1, 2000.
With President George W. Bush watching, former first lady Nancy Reagan christens the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, at Newport News, Virginia, March 4, 2001. The date corresponded with her 49th wedding anniversary.
Presidential Medal of Freedom
President George W. Bush awards former first lady Nancy Reagan the Presidential Medal of Freedom on July 9, 2002, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest American civilian award.
Nancy Reagan and Patti Davis
Former first lady Nancy Reagan and daughter Patti Davis attend the film premiere of "Peter Pan" on Dec. 13, 2003, in Hollywood, Calif.
Ronald Reagan Memorial Service
Former first lady Nancy Reagan is consoled by Rev. Michael Wennning as she pays her respects at the coffin of her husband, former President Ronald Reagan, in the rotunda at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library during a memorial service on June 7, 2004, in Simi Valley, Calif.
Lying In State
Former first lady Nancy Reagan touches the casket of her husband, former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, during his state funeral on Capitol Hill, June 9, 2004, in Washington.
Ronald Reagan Funeral
Michael Reagan, his wife Colleen, Ron Reagan, Patti Davis, and former first lady Nancy Reagan attend the interment ceremony as former President Ronald Reagan is laid to rest at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library June 11, 2004 in Simi Valley, Calif.
Reagan Presidential Library
Former first lady Nancy Reagan stands next to an oversized duplicate of the new commemorative stamp of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan during its unveiling ceremony at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Nov. 9, 2004, in Simi Valley, Calif.
"A Nation Honors Nancy Reagan"
Former First Lady Nancy Reagan speaks at the end of the "A Nation Honors Nancy Reagan" dinner at the Ronald Reagan Building on May 11, 2005, in Washington.
Reagan Presidential Library
Former first lady Nancy Reagan talks with CNN reporter Anderson Cooper before the start of the CNN/L.A. Times/Politico GOP Presidential Candidates Republican Debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Jan. 30, 2008, in Simi Valley, Calif.
Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission Act
Former first lady Nancy Reagan (left), Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif. (second left), Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind. (second right), and Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Calif. (right) watch President Barack Obama sign a bill in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House on June 2, 2009, in Washington. Mr. Obama signed the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission Act, to honor former President Ronald Reagan on his 100th birthday in 2011.
Betty Ford Funeral
Former first lady Nancy Reagan is escorted by former President George W. Bush following the funeral for former first lady Betty Ford at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church on July 12, 2011, in Palm Desert, Calif.
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
First lady Nancy Reagan is greeted by candidates Mitt Romney (left) and Texas Gov. Rick Perry before the start of the Ronald Reagan Centennial GOP Presidential Primary Candidates Debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Sept. 7, 2011, in Simi Valley, Calif.
Nancy Reagan and Mitt & Ann Romney
Nancy Reagan with Mitt and Ann Romney on May 31, 2012 after the former first lady endorsed the Republican's campaign for president.
Reagan Presidential Library
Nancy Reagan observes the eighth anniversary of the passing of her husband, Tuesday, June 5, 2012, after laying flowers at his gravesite at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif.
Reagan Presidential Library
Former first lady Nancy Reagan is seen at the Reagan Presidential Library on July 5, 2012, hosting an exhibit from the Walt Disney Archives.
Nancy Reagan died of congestive heart failure on March 6, 2016. She is survived by her two children, Patti Davis and Ronald Reagan Jr.
By CBSNews.com senior producer David Morgan