Joan Quigley, the astrologer who helped determine President Ronald Reagan's schedule and claimed to have convinced him to soften his stance toward the Soviet Union, has died at the age of 87.
Quigley died Tuesday at her home in San Francisco after an unspecified illness, her sister, Ruth Quigley, told The New York Times.
Nancy Reagan began consulting Quigley after the 1981 assassination attempt on her husband. She wanted to keep him from getting shot again, the first lady wrote in her 1989 memoir, My Turn.
The consultations were revealed to great embarrassment for the White House in a 1988 book by former White House chief of staff Donald Regan, who blamed the first lady for his ouster a year earlier. Regan said almost every major move and decision the Reagans made during his time as chief of staff was cleared in advance with a woman in San Francisco who drew up horoscopes. He did not know her identity. He noted in his 1988 memoir, however, that "she had set the time for summit meetings, presidential debates, Reagan’s 1985 cancer surgery, State of the Union addresses and much more." Without an O.K. from the astrologer, he said, "Air Force One did not take off."
The woman was in fact Joan Quigley, an heiress and Republican political activist. Quigley told The Associated Press in 1988 after her identity was revealed that she was a "serious, scientific astrologer."
"I am really not one of these clowns, and I really don't like this circus atmosphere," she said.