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President Gerald Ford

Updated on January 6, 2017
  • BORN: July 14, 1913, in Omaha, Nebr,
  • HIGHER EDUCATION: University of Michigan, B.A., 1935; Yale University, LL.B,, 1941.
  • RELIGION: Episcopalian.
  • OCCUPATION: Lawyer, public official.
  • MARRIAGE: Oct. 15, 1948, to Elizabeth Bloomer.
  • CHILDREN: Michael (1950-Steven (1956); John (1952); Susan (1957)
  • MILITARY SERVICE: United States Navy in World War II.
  • POLITICAL PARTY: Republican.
  • LEGAL RESIDENCE: Michigan.

Gerald Rudolph Ford (1913-2006) was the 38th president of the United States (1974-77).

Born in Omaha, Nebraska he was originally named Leslie King, Jr., but assumed his stepfather's name when his mother remarried. He graduated from the University of Michigan and the Yale University law school and was admitted to the Michigan bar in 1941. In 1948 he married Elizabeth Bloomer; they had four children. Alter service in the Navy in World War II, he was elected (1948) as a Republican to the US House of Representatives. A conservative and a loyal party supporter, he rose in Republican ranks, and in 1964 he was named House minority leader. In 1973, when Vice President Spiro T. Agnew was forced to resign, President Nixon nominated Ford to replace him. He became vice president on December 6, 1973, the first to come into office under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution.

By the time Ford became vice president, the Nixon administration was deeply involved in the Watergate affair. Ford repeatedly expressed his confidence that Nixon was not involved in the scandals. Nixon was forced to resign, however, on August 9, 1974, and Ford became president. Ford retained most of the Nixon cabinet and advisers, and, a month alter he assumed office, pardoned Nixon for all crimes he might have committed while president. He was widely criticized for the pardon. Ford continued the Nixon policy of easing tensions with both the Soviet Union and China. In domestic affairs, he opposed Democratic programs aimed at countering the recession, maintaining that their great costs would add to inflation, and vetoed a number of such bills. In 1976, Ford announced his intention to run for a full term. He entered the Republican primaries, where he was opposed by Ronald Reagan, but Ford received the nomination. Ford was defeated by Democrat Jimmy Carter. He wrote A Vision for America (1981).


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