Margaret Thatcher was famous for using her girly persona to get tough things done — conservative economic policies, encouraging the fall of communism in Europe, war in the Falkland Islands, the first Gulf War. Thatcher died Monday at the age of 87. She had suffered from dementia, and stayed out of the public eye in recent years. But she remained the role model for female American politicians, even ones who had little in common with her — Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin. Here are photos of her long career wearing feminine dresses and pouf hair and dominating rooms full of men.

1950: In her first political campaign, then-Margaret Roberts sang along with voters in the bar of the Bull Inn, Dartford, England during the 1950 general election. She lost.

1951: At age 26 with her soon-to-be-husband Denis Thatcher during the 1951 general election. She lost this one, too.

1975: Thatcher, then Opposition Leader, was visited in London by then-former California Gov. Ronald Reagan.

1976: Addressing the conservative party's annual conference.

1976: Visiting the British Rhine Army at Herford and Guetersloh, Germany, as opposition leader.

1977: Meeting President Jimmy Carter for the first time.

(Photo via MargaretThatcher.org.)

1977: At the White House with Carter.

(Photo via MargaretThatcher.org.)

1979: As the first female British prime minister, standing outside 10 Downing Street.

1979: A toast at the White House with Carter.

(Photo via MargaretThatcher.org.)

1981: Meeting Charlton Heston with Reagan at the White House.

(Photo via MargaretThatcher.org.)

1981: Thatcher, Reagan, and then-Vice President George H. W. Bush. 

(Photo via MargaretThatcher.org.)

1982: Thatcher and Reagan speak with reporters.

1983: Visiting British soldiers of Y Company, 1st Battalion in Goose Green, Falkland Islands.

1984: At Camp David with Reagan.

(Photos via MargaretThatcher.org.)

1986: Nancy Reagan visits No. 10 Downing Street. She has interesting handwriting.

(Photo via MargaretThatcher.org.)

1986: In a tank while visiting British troops in Fallingbostel, West Germany.

1989: Thatcher "takes charge of proceedings," according to the Associated Press' caption, during a press event with Mikhail Gorbachev in London.

1989: Visiting President George H. W. Bush at Camp David.

(Photo via MargaretThatcher.org.)

1990: The Oval Office: then, as now, usually a room full of dudes. Thatcher told Bush not to "go wobbly" on Iraq.

(Photo via MargaretThatcher.org.)

1990: Flying a kite in Bermuda.

1991: With Reagan and a piece of the Berlin Wall at his presidential library in Simi Valley, California.

1995: After leaving office, Thatcher became a "geopolitical consultant" for the tobacco company Philip Morris for $250,000 a year. Here she arrives for her 70th birthday party, which reportedly cost Philip Morris $1 million.

2007: Commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Falkland Islands conflict with then-Prime Minister Tony Blair in London.

(Photos via Associated Press unless otherwise noted.)