World mourns Reagan’s death

Mr Reagan’s great friend and ally, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, remembered the movie star who transformed himself as America’s president from 1981 to 1989 as “a truly great American hero.”

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the former Soviet Union and who shares the credit with Mr Reagan for halting the nuclear arms race that triggered the end of the Cold War, said his US counterpart was a “great president” who left behind a giant footprint on the world.

Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl described him as a “godsend” for the world and the once divided Europe, saying he would never forget Mr Reagan’s appeal to Mr Gorbachev in 1987 to tear down the Berlin Wall.

Former US President Jimmy Carter, the man Mr Reagan defeated in the 1981 US presidential elections, halied Mr Reagon as the “Great Communicator”.

However, Mr Reagan had spent the past decade out of the public eye, battling the degenerative brain condition Alzheimer’s disease.

He died aged 93 in the care of his family in Los Angeles on June 5.

His wife, former first lady Nancy Reagan said she felt a “sense of relief” at his death.

In a piece published by Time magazine yesterday, Mrs Reagan said her husband had been an eternal optimist for whom “the glass is always full, not half empty.”

Mr Reagan’s body is being transported to Washington, where it will lie in state at the US Capitol ahead of a state funeral ceremony on June 11.

International leaders, former American presidents and the current President George W Bush are expected to be in attendance for the service at the National Cathedral.

His body will then be returned to his home state of California for burial.

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