Raisa Gorbachev Dies

Former Soviet first lady Raisa Gorbachev, 67, died Monday morning in a hospital in Germany from acute leukemia. Raisa, the wife of former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, had been in a Muenster clinic since July. Gorbachev and their daughter Irina were with Raisa throughout her lengthy hospital stay and were at her bedside when she died, say reports. (Gorbachev had appealed to President Clinton and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder for assistance in arranging medical help for Raisa when her leukemia was diagnosed earlier this year. Germany was chosen as the best option.) As a first lady in the 1980s, Raisa — who clashed famously with an equally headstrong Nancy Reagan — was compared in style and prominence to Jacqueline Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, even Empress Josephine (wife of Napoleon Bonaparte).

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