(Picture: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
(Picture: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Former first lady of the United States and influential campaigner Nancy Reagan has died from congestive heart failure aged 94, it emerged on Sunday.

After news of her death broke tributes rolled in from across the political landscape.

President Barack Obama said that Reagan "had redefined the role" of FLOTUS:

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

Our former First Lady redefined the role in her time here.

Within minutes of her death being announced, what we can only assume to be preprepared obituaries appeared online.

Picture: TAMA/AFP/Getty Images

While the majority played their role as fitting memoriam to the powerful woman she was, the tendency to fall back on her appearance, her dedication to her husband, her style and her "Gucci-clad fist" was overwhelming.

And there was very little mention of how being First Lady is an outdated job, for which women who are successful in their own right - like actor Nancy Reagan, or ex-Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton - give up their own careers in order to focus on their husband's presidency.

One of the first obits to surface came courtesy of The New York Times.

Its opening paragraph had us guessing what year (or decade) it was originally written:

Nancy Reagan, the influential and stylish wife of the 40th president of the United States who unabashedly put Ronald Reagan at the centre of her life but became a political figure in her own right...

Similarly, a piece published by the Daily Mail lead on the line:

The formidable First Lady who ran the White House with love, a Gucci-clad fist... and an astrologer

Despite her prominence as an anti-drugs campaigners and an influential force in 1980s politics she is first and formerly referred to as a 'wife' and as 'glamourous'.

Here are just some of the words and phrases used to describe Reagan after her death, which you'd be much less likely to see written about a man:

Gazing adoringly at her husband

Softer side



Doting wife


Meddling power

Half-Lady Macbeth, half-Doris Stokes


Passionately devoted


Mrs Ronald Reagan




Wifely submission

Deadly combination



In all honesty, is it really a far cry from this?

Words taken from the Daily Mail, Fox News, Telegraph and USA Today

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