Ronald Reagan (C-R) and his wife Nancy.jpg
Photograph: EPA/KARL MATHIS

Former US first lady Nancy Reagan died Sunday at 94, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library said.

Family spokeswoman Joanne Drake said Reagan died at her Los Angeles home due to congestive heart failure.

The foundation's website posted images of the former first lady and allowed mourners to leave condolences.

President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama offered condolences Sunday to the Reagan family.

"We remain grateful for Nancy Reagan's life, thankful for her guidance, and prayerful that she and her beloved husband are together again," they said in a White House statement.

Born Anne Frances Robbins in 1921, she had a successful career in Hollywood under the name Nancy Davis before marrying fellow actor Ronald Reagan in 1952. Supporting her husband's political career, she became the first lady of California in 1967 and then of the United States during his two-term presidency in 1981-89.

The couple had two children.

As first lady, she played a forceful supporting role to her husband, sometimes drawing criticism for her behind-the-scenes influence.

In one instance, she was seen whispering an answer into the president's ear as the first couple walked past reporters shouting questions.

She wrote in her memoirs about her persistent fears for her husband's safety, after he nearly died from his wounds in a 1981 assassination attempt outside a hotel in Washington.

Nancy's interest in astrology - which she allegedly tried to use to influence the presidential schedule - attracted ridicule near the end of the Reagan presidency.

"Nancy Reagan once wrote that nothing could prepare you for living in the White House. She was right, of course," the Obama's said Sunday. "But we had a head start, because we were fortunate to benefit from her proud example, and her warm and generous advice."

Ronald Reagan died in 2004 after a long bout with Alzheimer's, an event that prompted an outpouring of emotion from conservative America. His wife is to be buried next to him, after a public memorial ceremony at the presidential library.

She is often remembered for her "Just Say No" anti-drugs campaign during her White House years. Later, she was active in raising awareness about Alzheimer's.

Former president Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary, who is the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, said in a statement that they were "deeply saddened to learn of Nancy Reagan's passing."

They called her "an extraordinary woman: a gracious First Lady, proud mother, and devoted wife to President Reagan - her Ronnie. Her strength of character was legendary, particularly when tested by the attempted assassination of the president, and throughout his battle with Alzheimer's."

She leaves "a remarkable legacy of good" through her public campaigns, the Clintons said.

Donald Trump, the front-runner for the Republican Party presidential nomination, described her on Twitter as "the wife of a truly great president" and "an amazing woman. She will be missed!"

Latest news

Trump-style rhetoric is making world more dangerous, Amnesty says

Divisive and "poisonous" language used by politicians such as US President Donald Trump is putting vulnerable populations at risk and making the whole world a more dangerous place, Amnesty International charged on Wednesday.

Canada soon to begin resettling Iraqi refugees, most of them Yezidis

Canada will resettle 1,200 survivors of the Islamic State campaign to target religious minorities in northern Iraq, Canadian officials announced Tuesday. 

Breitbart editor resigns after release of paedophilia comments

Milo Yiannopoulos, a controversial editor at the far-right Breitbart news website, resigned Tuesday after the emergence of recordings in which he appears to defend sexual relationships between young boys and older men.

Trump administration opens door for mass deportations

The US Department of Homeland Security laid the groundwork Tuesday for mass deportations of immigrants living illegally in the United States under an executive order by President Donald Trump last month.

Brexit bill: House of Lords says public can change mind on leaving EU

The British public should be able to change their minds on Brexit - just as Prime Minister Theresa May did, the upper chamber of parliament heard Tuesday during a marathon debate on legislation to kick off EU negotiations.

Italian lawmakers, rights activists clash over gay sex club scandal

Gay rights activists and conservative politicians clashed Tuesday after the chief of Italy's anti-discrimination office quit over allegations that money had been authorized for gay sex clubs.

EU countries agree new rules to avoid tax evasion

European Union finance ministers in Brussels on Tuesday reached a political agreement on new rules to ensure that multinational corporations do not declare profits in the countries where they pay the least tax but in the countries where they generate it.

Trump condemns "horrible, painful" anti-Jewish incidents

US President Donald Trump condemned a recent spate of threats against Jewish community targets across the United States, during a visit Tuesday to the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington.

FinMin expects Croatia to exit Excessive Deficit Procedure this spring

Finance Minister Zdravko Maric said on Tuesday Croatia could exit the Excessive Deficit Procedure this spring and that it was showing progress in correcting macroeconomic imbalances.

Austria seeks to create jobs, but new EU immigrants need not apply

Austria plans to create 160,000 jobs in the next three years by subsidizing companies, but the project has raised concerns because it effectively excludes people who recently immigrated from other EU countries.

Juncker: Not good for W. Balkans that some in Washington want to water down EU

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Tuesday it was not good for Western Balkan countries that some people in the new US administration gave the impression of being against the European Union because those countries needed the prospects of EU membership.

Citizens invited to help create Croatian version of Monopoly

A project to create a Croatian edition of Monopoly, in which citizens can participate by submitting proposals and which could become a souvenir for tourists, was presented at a press conference on Tuesday.

German state approves full-face veil ban

Legislation that bans face veils in select public spaces and situations was agreed by the government of the southeastern German state of Bavaria on Tuesday.

Indian restaurant Gaggan in Bangkok named Asia's best for third year

Bangkok's Indian eatery Gaggan on Tuesday was named the best restaurant in Asia for the third consecutive year by Asia's 50 Best Restaurants.

HGK: 16 Croatian companies to exhibit at IDEX defence exhibition

Sixteen Croatian companies will exhibit their products at the 13th IDEX 2017 defence exhibition in Abu Dhabi, to be held on February 19-23.