Anne Frances Robins (July 6, 1921 – March 6, 2016) was born to actress Edith Prescott Luckett and car salesman Kenneth Seymour Robbins. From birth, she was almost always called Nancy. When her mother remarried in 1929, she was adopted by her new stepfather, Dr. Loyal Edward Davis, and took his last name.
Nancy Davis attended Smith College and graduated in 1943 with a degree in English and drama. She first met Ronald Reagan on November 15, 1949, while she was working as an actress. The two began dating not long after, and married three years later on March 4, 1952. Nancy and Ronald had two children together, Patricia Ann Reagan and Ronald Prescott Reagan.
In January 1981, Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as the 40th president of the United States. During her time as first lady, Nancy led a renovation of the White House and also became a major advocate for preventing youth drug abuse. In 1982, she was responsible for the launch of the “Just Say No” campaign. Nancy traveled throughout the US and world to promote this message – even after leaving the White House.
In 2002, Nancy Reagan was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush. It was a fitting tribute to her many years of service to the United States.