Joan Quigley, one of history's most influential astrologers, died at the age of 87 on October 21 at her San Francisco home. She is best known for advising former first lady Nancy Reagan.
In 1988, President Reagan denied the role of astrology in his political decisions after it was revealed that he and wife were deeply interested in it. He said at a photo-taking session, "No policy or decision in my mind has ever been influenced by astrology.''
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It was revealed that Nancy began consulting astrologer Joan Quigley after the 1981 assassination attempt on her husband. The ladies first met on the Merv Griffin Show.
In her 1989 memoir, My Turn, Nancy wrote she wanted to help her husband from getting shot again.
A New York Times article from 1988 confirmed the role of astrology in their lives after Ted Koppel reported that he had learned that before the President was shot on March 30, 1981, an astrologer warned Mrs. Reagan that something bad would happen that day. In an interview after the show, Mr. Koppel said a woman astrologer had told Mrs. Reagan that 'there was going to be an incident on that day.'"
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The woman astrologer was Quigley and her role was well-noted.
Former Chief of Staff to Ronald, Donald T. Regan wrote a memoir about Quigley's role, although at the time he did not know her name. In For the Record: From Wall Street to Washington, Donald wrote, "Virtually every major move and decision the Reagans made during my time as White House Chief of Staff was cleared in advance with a woman in San Francisco [Quiqley] who drew up horoscopes to make certain that the planets were in a favorable alignment for the enterprise."
His memoir details her influence, which went so far as selecting times for summit meetings, presidential debates, State of the Union addresses, and even says that Air Force One did not take off without an okay from the astrologer.
Quigley also wrote her own book in 1990 titled, What Does Joan Say? She wrote about the seven years she spent as the White House astrologer "wielding considerable influence in the creation of major U.S. policy, including the Bitburg crisis, the INF Treaty, and the President's historical shift from viewing Russia as the Evil Empire to accepting Gorbachev as a peace-seeking leader."
A serious woman, she did not just take on anyone to consult, and it seems as if she took on people who were just like herself. She told the New York Times in 1988 that she worked with "only people I find extremely interesting."