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A Welcome From Judy Woodruff

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Welcome to the website for the PBS documentary Nancy Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime!

Its the third in a series* of documentaries about former First Ladies by MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, and one I've been excited to work on.

I covered the Reagan presidency back in the 1980s, so I have firsthand memories of their years in the White House. The one I'll never forget is surely the worst: the day President Reagan was shot. I was just a few dozen feet away, as part of the press pool following him.

Of course, I remember many less traumatic moments during those years that involved Mrs. Reagan -- on the campaign trail, hosting formal dinners for visiting heads of state, and vacationing at their ranch in Santa Barbara, California.

But in all these, she gave few public hints of just how important her role was.

Her influence has become clear only in the two decades since he left office, and that's why working on this documentary has been so interesting. I was privileged to interview Nancy Reagan extensively, over the course of several days in the summer of 2009, when I asked her directly about her life with President Reagan. Her answers make up the bulk of this documentary. I'm sure you'll find them as fascinating as I did.

*The first two were on Lady Bird Johnson and Betty Ford.

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