Former First Lady Nancy Reagan released this statement on Wednesday following the death of Maureen Reagan:

"Maureen Reagan has been a special part of my life since I met Ronnie over 50 years ago. Like all fathers and daughters, there was a unique bond between them. Maureen had his gift of communication, his love of politics, and when she believed in a cause, she was not afraid to fight hard for it.

"Maureen was very devoted to her father and during every campaign, especially in 1980 when he was running for President, Maureen was a tireless crusader. Later, when Ronnie asked her to co-chair at the Republican National Committee, she eagerly rolled up her sleeves and dug right in. In the last 15 years, not only did Maureen write a book and run for political office, but she became a passionate advocate and an articulate spokesperson for both Alzheimer's Disease and melanoma.

"Not the least of Maureen's strengths was her devotion to her husband, Dennis, and their daughter, Rita, Maureen was the special spirit that guided them through every part of the day and I cannot imagine the intense grief they are going through right now. Dennis' love for Maureen has been painfully apparent through his devotion and strength in every step of her illness and treatment. My heart breaks for both him and Rita. I hold them close in my thoughts and I pray that God will see them through their pain.

"Ronnie and I loved Maureen very much. We will miss her terribly."