M A I N   N E W S

Ronald Reagan dead

Los Angeles, June 6
Former US President Ronald Reagan, who made an astounding career change by leaping from acting to politics and then forging a conservative revolution that reshaped American politics, died yesterday after a decade-long battle with alzheimer's disease.

The man admired for his sunny optimism and skills as 'The Great Communicator'' died of pneumonia at age 93 at his home in the posh Bel Air section of Los Angeles.

Members of his immediate family were at his bedside, including his wife of 52 years, Nancy.

The White House said the death of the 40th president was a sad day for the USA. ''A great American life has come to an end,'' President George W. Bush said in Paris following talks with French President Jacques Chirac.

Mr Bush, whose politics seemed modeled on Mr Reagan's as much as on his own father, President George H. W. Bush, told reporters, ''He leaves behind a nation he restored, and a world he helped save.''

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who became a close friend of his, praised Mr Reagan for what she said was his greatest achievement -- ending the Cold War ''without a shot being fired.'' Paying tributes to his ideological mentor, President Bush said Mr Reagan rejuvenated the USA and helped save the world with his battle against Communism.

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