Margaret Thatcher was the longest Prime Minister of the 20th century. Her style and her views appealed to mane British people who had lost confidence in the welfare state and in the direction the nation had taken. In some ways she was the first genuine leader the nation had had since Churchill.
Margaret Thatcher began her career in politics, when she became a Conservative Member of Parliament. in 1979 she was elected as Britain's first woman Prime Minister.
From the start, her autocratic style earned her the nickname of "The Iron Lady". Her abrasive manner has attracted some criticism.
During the Falklands War of 1982, however, Margaret Thatcher's militant patriotism found her many supporters, and she became something of a popular hero-figure, much as Winston Churchill had been in the Second World War.
Margaret Thatcher was re-elected Prime Minister in the general elections of 1983 and 1987.