She recognized Mikhail Gorbachev as a man who could help to end the Cold War, commenting famously, "I like Mr. Gorbachev. We can do business together."
Ronald Reagan thought so, too. Together, Thatcher and Reagan savored victory in the Cold War as their proudest achievement. But while Alzheimer's forced Reagan to retire from public life, Thatcher kept on long after leaving Downing Street.
She became Baroness Thatcher, a symbolic leader for a party that struggled to find a worthy successor.
By the time of President Reagan's funeral in 2004, Lady Thatcher had already suffered several strokes. She was a silent witness at her friend's farewell, but she had the foresight to record a eulogy for Reagan several months earlier.
"As the last journey of this faithful pilgrim took him beyond the sunset, and as heaven's morning broke, I like to think -- in the words of Bunyan -- that 'all the trumpets sounded on the other side,'" she said.