Former US President Gerald R. Ford Dies at 93

Former President Gerald Ford, who healed a divided nation in the wake of President Richard Nixon’s resignation and the Watergate scandal, has died in the U.S. state of California at the age of 93. He had battled pneumonia and undergone two heart procedures earlier this year.

When Gerald R. Ford took the oath of office on August 9, 1974, he declared, “I assume the Presidency under extraordinary circumstances…. This is an hour of history that troubles our minds and hurts our hearts.”

It was absolutley an unprecedented time. He had been the first Vice President chosen under the terms of the Twenty-fifth Amendment and, in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal, was succeeding the first President ever to resign.

Ford was confronted with almost insuperable tasks. There werethe challenges of mastering inflation, reviving a depressed economy, solving chronic energy shortages, and trying to ensure world peace.

The President acted to curb the trend toward Government intervention and spending as a means of solving the problems of American society and the economy. In the long run, he believed, this shift would bring a better life for all Americans.

Ford’s reputation for integrity and openness had made him popular during his 25 years in Congress. From 1965 to 1973, he was House Minority Leader.

Born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1913, he grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  He was born “Leslie King” and was adopted by his stepfather. Once asked about his “real father”, he said this is my real father, the guy who was really really there for me every day!

Ford starred on the University of Michigan football team, then went to Yale, where he served as assistant coach while earning his law degree. During World War II he attained the rank of lieutenant commander in the Navy. After the war he returned to Grand Rapids, where he began the practice of law, and entered Republican politics. A few weeks before his election to Congress in 1948, he married Elizabeth Bloomer. They had four children: Michael, John, Steven, and Susan.

As President, Ford tried to calm earlier controversies by granting former President Nixon a full pardon. His nominee for Vice President, former Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York, was the second person to fill that office by appointment. Gradually, Ford selected a cabinet of his own.

Ford established his policies during his first year in office, despite opposition from a heavily Democratic Congress. His first goal was to curb inflation. Then, when recession became the Nation’s most serious domestic problem, he shifted to measures aimed at stimulating the economy. But, still fearing inflation, Ford vetoed a number of non-military appropriations bills that would have further increased the already heavy budgetary deficit. During his first 14 months as President he vetoed 39 measures. His vetoes were usually sustained.

Ford continued as he had in his Congressional days to view himself as “a moderate in domestic affairs, a conservative in fiscal affairs, and a dyed-in-the-wool internationalist in foreign affairs.” A major goal was to help business operate more freely by reducing taxes upon it and easing the controls exercised by regulatory agencies. “We…declared our independence 200 years ago, and we are not about to lose it now to paper shufflers and computers,” he said.

In foreign affairs Ford acted vigorously to maintain U. S. power and prestige after the collapse of Cambodia and South Viet Nam. Preventing a new war in the Middle East remained a major objective; by providing aid to both Israel and Egypt, the Ford Administration helped persuade the two countries to accept an interim truce agreement. Detente with the Soviet Union continued. President Ford and Soviet leader Leonid I. Brezhnev set new limitations upon nuclear weapons.

Ford was an unassuming down to Earth kind of guy and remained that way. Shortly after becoming president, in all the excitement his dog pooped on the rug one day, and 4-secret service people ran to clean it up.  The President stopped them and said, “No”, I’ll clean it up!  Nobody should ever have to clean up after someone else’s dog!”

President Ford won the Republican nomination for the Presidency in 1976, but lost the election to his Democratic opponent, former Governor Jimmy Carter of Georgia.

On Inauguration Day, President Carter began his speech: “For myself and for our Nation, I want to thank my predecessor for all he has done to heal our land.” A grateful people concurred.

On July 8th, 2011, Gerald’s beloved Betty joined him in the next life…  Former First Lady Betty Ford Dies at Age 93

Video:  Gerald Ford’s Service at the National Cathedral – Part I

Video: Gerald R. Ford Funeral – George W. Bush Speech

Video:  Ronald Reagan Funeral

Video:  Ronald Reagan Funeral – His Final Journey

About Ask Marion

I am a babyboomer and empty nester who savors every moment of my past and believes that it is the responsibility of each of us in my generation and Americans in general to make sure that America is as good or even a better place for future generations as it was for us. So far... we haven't done very well!! Favorite Quotes: "The first 50 years are to build and acquire; the second 50 are to leave your legacy"; "Do something that scares you every day!"; "The journey in between what you once were and who you are becoming is where the dance of life really takes place". At age 62 I find myself fighting inoperable uterine Cancer and thanks to the man upstairs and the prayers from so many people including many of my readers from AskMarion and JustOneMorePet... I'm beating it. After losing our business because of the economy and factors related to the re-election of President Obama in 2012 followed by 16-mos of job hunting, my architect-trained husband is working as a trucker and has only been home approximately 5-days a month since I was diagnosed, which has made everything more difficult and often lonely... plus funds are tight. Our family medical deductible is 12K per year for two of us; thank you ObamaCare. But thanks to donations from so many of you, we are making ends meet as I go through treatment while taking care of my father-in-law who is suffering from late stage Alzheimer's and my mother-in-law who suffers from RA and onset dementia as well as hearing loss, for which there are no caretaker funds, as I continue the fight here online to inform and help restore our amazing country. And finally I need to thank a core group of family, friends, and readers... all at a distance, who check in with me regularly. Plus, I must thank my furkids who have not left my side through this fight. You can see them at JustOneMorePet.
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3 Responses to Former US President Gerald R. Ford Dies at 93

  1. CallieHuggles says:

    That was so awsome… something Major was He was born as " Leslie King", he was adopted by his stepfather.. who in no way was realted to THEE Ford Family…( Henry\’s ) although the " King\’s " Immigrants where KOENIG\’s where very much a part , even of The American Revolution…
    That was The Best, Reading I have seen of him since his passing… His home in So cal is 40 miles from me, and Oddly, I didn\’t grow up far from Richards Nixon\’s as a kid… nor That far from the Reagans as I moved aroun and got older…
    Many of People who where children at the time, saw the news via our parents Intense interest of all of the scandals…
    having to wait for hours in hot cars as the driver ( insert family member(s) )
    we where as is today, saying Thank God you are back, or praying to see out loved ones home…
    I was 9-12 or there abouts… we lived in a different time, than the kids here who see Truly edited information…
    Patty Hurt and the Truly LIVE version of such a Big thing… I wonder how many parents are taling and grand parents
    because the kids where out of school, and he isn\’t IN THE BOOKS, my kids ever had in school…
    as a parent of a child who is graduating High School this year, and growing up, a child of the Parents of the 70\’s…
    Divorce just started to be things mommies and daddies did… It was Marriage encounted fixes everything dysfunction … the last of the baby boomers…
    I hope More than LESS talked to their kids about that period in history, as so many are trying hard to get back to that idealogy…
    One can pray… it\’s Politcaly alread started with so many FIRST evers… these are going to be THOSE People when we are OLD…
    {{{{{{{{{{{{{{ Huggles }}}}}}}}}}

  2. Pingback: FORMER FIRST LADY BETTY FORD HAS DIED AT AGE 93 | askmarion

  3. Pingback: Casey Anthony: Single Mom of the Year! | askmarion

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