108 Facts About Gerald Ford


Gerald Ford previously served as the leader of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives from 1965 to 1973, when he was appointed the 40th vice president by President Richard Nixon, after the resignation of Spiro Agnew.


Gerald Ford is the only person to become US president without winning an election for president or vice president.


Gerald Ford began his political career in 1949 as the US representative from Michigan's 5th congressional district.


Gerald Ford served in this capacity for nearly 25 years, the final nine of them as the House minority leader.


In December 1973, two months after the resignation of Spiro Agnew, Gerald Ford became the first person appointed to the vice presidency under the terms of the 25th Amendment.


Domestically, Gerald Ford presided over the worst economy in the four decades since the Great Depression, with growing inflation and a recession during his tenure.


In retirement, Gerald Ford set aside the enmity he had felt towards Carter following the 1976 election, and the two former presidents developed a close friendship.


Gerald Ford was the only child of Dorothy Ayer Gardner and Leslie Lynch King Sr.


Gerald Ford's father was the son of prominent banker Charles Henry King and Martha Alicia King.


Gerald Ford took her son with her to Oak Park, Illinois, home of her sister Tannisse and brother-in-law, Clarence Haskins James.


Gerald Ford later said that his biological father had a history of hitting his mother.


Gerald Ford later told confidants that his father had first hit his mother when she had smiled at another man during their honeymoon.


Gerald Ford was involved in the Boy Scouts of America, and earned that program's highest rank, Eagle Scout.


Gerald Ford is the only Eagle Scout to have ascended to the US presidency.


Gerald Ford attended Grand Rapids South High School, where he was a star athlete and captain of the football team.


Gerald Ford attended the University of Michigan, where he played center, linebacker, and long snapper for the school's football team and helped the Wolverines to two undefeated seasons and national titles in 1932 and 1933.


Gerald Ford was Ward's best friend on the team, and they roomed together while on road trips.


Gerald Ford reportedly threatened to quit the team in response to the university's decision, but he eventually agreed to play against Georgia Tech when Ward personally asked him to play.


Gerald Ford visited with players and coaches during practices; at one point, he asked to join the players in the huddle.


Gerald Ford graduated from Michigan in 1935 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics.


Gerald Ford turned down offers from the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers of the National Football League.


Gerald Ford hoped to attend Yale Law School beginning in 1935.


Gerald Ford spent the summer of 1937 as a student at the University of Michigan Law School and was eventually admitted in the spring of 1938 to Yale Law School.


Gerald Ford initially worked with the John Robert Powers agency before investing in Harry Conover's agency, with whom he modelled until 1941.


Gerald Ford graduated in the top third of his class in 1941, and was admitted to the Michigan bar shortly thereafter.


Gerald Ford received a commission as ensign in the US Naval Reserve on April 13,1942.


Gerald Ford was serving as General Quarters Officer of the Deck and was ordered to go below to assess the raging fire.


Gerald Ford did so safely, and reported his findings back to the ship's commanding officer, Captain Stuart H Ingersoll.


Gerald Ford was detached from the ship and sent to the Navy Pre-Flight School at Saint Mary's College of California, where he was assigned to the Athletic Department until April 1945.


Gerald Ford received the following military awards: the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with nine.


Gerald Ford visited local farms where, in one instance, a wager resulted in Gerald Ford spending two weeks milking cows following his election victory.


Gerald Ford was a member of the House of Representatives for 25 years, holding Michigan's 5th congressional district seat from 1949 to 1973.


Gerald Ford was known to his colleagues in the House as a "Congressman's Congressman".


Gerald Ford was assigned to prepare a biography of accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.


The members of the Republican caucus that encouraged and eventually endorsed Ford to run as the House minority leader were later known as the "Young Turks" and one of the members of the Young Turks was congressman Donald H Rumsfeld from Illinois's 13th congressional district, who later on would serve in Ford's administration as the chief of staff and secretary of defense.


The speech angered President Johnson, who accused Gerald Ford of having played "too much football without a helmet".


Gerald Ford's leadership was instrumental in shepherding revenue sharing through Congress, and resulted in a bipartisan coalition that supported the bill with 223 votes in favor.


Gerald Ford promised his wife that he would try again in 1974 then retire in 1976.


Gerald Ford became Vice President as the Watergate scandal was unfolding.


When Nixon resigned on August 9,1974, Gerald Ford automatically assumed the presidency, taking the oath of office in the East Room of the White House.


Gerald Ford later declared that "our long national nightmare is over".


On September 8,1974, Gerald Ford issued Proclamation 4311, which gave Nixon a full and unconditional pardon for any crimes he might have committed against the United States while president.


Critics derided the move and said a "corrupt bargain" had been struck between the two men, in which Gerald Ford's pardon was granted in exchange for Nixon's resignation, elevating Gerald Ford to the presidency.


Gerald Ford later decided to pardon Nixon for other reasons, primarily the friendship he and Nixon shared.


Regardless, historians believe the controversy was one of the major reasons Gerald Ford lost the 1976 presidential election, an observation with which Gerald Ford agreed.


On October 17,1974, Gerald Ford testified before Congress on the pardon.


Gerald Ford was the first sitting president since Abraham Lincoln to testify before the House of Representatives.


Gerald Ford chose a young Wyoming politician, Richard Cheney, to replace Rumsfeld as his new Chief of Staff; Cheney became the campaign manager for Gerald Ford's 1976 presidential campaign.


In October 1974, in response to rising inflation, Gerald Ford went before the American public and asked them to "Whip Inflation Now".


On October 4,1974, Gerald Ford gave a speech in front of a joint session of Congress; as a part of this speech he kicked off the "WIN" campaign.


Gerald Ford expressed "strong support for full educational opportunities for our handicapped children" according to the official White House press release for the bill signing.


The focus of the Gerald Ford administration turned to stopping the rise in unemployment, which reached nine percent in May 1975.


Gerald Ford was criticized for abruptly switching from advocating a tax increase to a tax reduction.


In March 1975, Congress passed, and Gerald Ford signed into law, these income tax rebates as part of the Tax Reduction Act of 1975.


Ford came under criticism when First Lady Betty Ford entered the debate over abortion during an August 1975 interview for 60 Minutes, in which she stated that Roe v Wade was a "great, great decision".


Gerald Ford continued the detente policy with both the Soviet Union and China, easing the tensions of the Cold War.


The thawing relationship brought about by Nixon's visit to China was reinforced by Gerald Ford's own visit in December 1975.


Gerald Ford attended the inaugural meeting of the Group of Seven industrialized nations in 1975 and secured membership for Canada.


Gerald Ford felt truly annoyed and thought the chance for peace was jeopardized.


In December 1974, months after Gerald Ford took office, North Vietnamese forces invaded the province of Phuoc Long.


Some historians have argued that the Gerald Ford administration felt the need to respond forcefully to the incident because it was construed as a Soviet plot.


Gerald Ford was the target of two assassination attempts during his presidency.


Gerald Ford was later convicted of attempted assassination of the President and was sentenced to life in prison; she was paroled on August 14,2009, after serving 34 years.


Gerald Ford was paroled on December 31,2007, after serving 32 years.


In 1975, Gerald Ford appointed John Paul Stevens as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States to replace retiring Justice William O Douglas.


Gerald Ford appointed 11 judges to the United States Courts of Appeals, and 50 judges to the United States district courts.


Gerald Ford reluctantly agreed to run for office in 1976, but first he had to counter a challenge for the Republican party nomination.


Former Governor of California Ronald Reagan and the party's conservative wing faulted Gerald Ford for failing to do more in South Vietnam, for signing the Helsinki Accords, and for negotiating to cede the Panama Canal.


The conservative insurgency did lead to Gerald Ford dropping the more liberal Vice President Nelson Rockefeller in favor of US Senator Bob Dole of Kansas.


Chevy Chase often did pratfalls on Saturday Night Live, imitating Gerald Ford, who had been seen stumbling on two occasions during his term.


Gerald Ford successfully invested in oil with Marvin Davis, which later provided an income for Gerald Ford's children.


Gerald Ford continued to make appearances at events of historical and ceremonial significance to the nation, such as presidential inaugurals and memorial services.


In 1979, Gerald Ford published his autobiography, A Time to Heal.


Bush, and Bill Clinton, Gerald Ford was an honorary co-chair of the Council for Excellence in Government, a group dedicated to excellence in government performance, which provides leadership training to top federal employees.


Gerald Ford devoted much time to his love of golf, often playing both privately and in public events with comedian Bob Hope, a longtime friend.


Gerald Ford hosted the Jerry Ford Invitational in Vail, Colorado from 1977 to 1996.


Gerald Ford considered a run for the Republican nomination in 1980, forgoing numerous opportunities to serve on corporate boards to keep his options open for a rematch with Carter.


Gerald Ford attacked Carter's conduct of the SALT II negotiations and foreign policy in the Middle East and Africa.


Many have argued that Gerald Ford wanted to exorcise his image as an "Accidental President" and to win a term in his own right.


Gerald Ford believed the more conservative Ronald Reagan would be unable to defeat Carter and would hand the incumbent a second term.


Gerald Ford was encouraged by his former Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger as well as Jim Rhodes of Ohio and Bill Clements of Texas to make the race.


On March 15,1980, Gerald Ford announced that he would forgo a run for the Republican nomination, vowing to support the eventual nominee.


Gerald Ford conditioned his acceptance on Reagan's agreement to an unprecedented "co-presidency", giving Gerald Ford the power to control key executive branch appointments.


Gerald Ford did appear in a campaign commercial for the Reagan-Bush ticket, in which he declared that the country would be "better served by a Reagan presidency rather than a continuation of the weak and politically expedient policies of Jimmy Carter".


On March 24,1982, Gerald Ford offered an endorsement of President Reagan's economic policies while stating the possibility of Reagan being met with a stalemate by Congress if not willing to compromise while in Washington.


Gerald Ford founded the annual AEI World Forum in 1982, and joined the American Enterprise Institute as a distinguished fellow.


Gerald Ford was awarded an honorary doctorate at Central Connecticut State University on March 23,1988.


In 1987, Gerald Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in favor of District of Columbia Circuit Court judge and former Solicitor General Robert Bork after Bork was nominated by President Reagan to be an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.


Gerald Ford suffered two minor strokes at the 2000 Republican National Convention, but made a quick recovery after being admitted to Hahnemann University Hospital.


Gerald Ford died on December 26,2006, at his home in Rancho Mirage, California, of arteriosclerotic cerebrovascular disease and diffuse arteriosclerosis.


Gerald Ford had end-stage coronary artery disease and severe aortic stenosis and insufficiency, caused by calcific alteration of one of his heart valves.


At the time of his death, Gerald Ford was the longest-lived US president, having lived 93 years and 165 days.


Gerald Ford died on the 34th anniversary of President Harry S Truman's death; he was the last surviving member of the Warren Commission.


On December 30,2006, Gerald Ford became the 11th US president to lie in state in the Rotunda of the US Capitol.


Gerald Ford selected the song to be played during his funeral procession at the US Capitol.


Gerald Ford had three half-siblings from the second marriage of Leslie King Sr.


Gerald Ford was not aware of his biological father until he was 17, when his parents told him about the circumstances of his birth.


That year his biological father, whom Gerald Ford described as a "carefree, well-to-do man who didn't really give a damn about the hopes and dreams of his firstborn son", approached Gerald Ford while he was waiting tables in a Grand Rapids restaurant.


On October 15,1948, Gerald Ford married Elizabeth Bloomer at Grace Episcopal Church in Grand Rapids; it was his first and only marriage and her second marriage.


At the time of their engagement, Gerald Ford was campaigning for what would be his first of 13 terms as a member of the United States House of Representatives.


The couple had four children: Michael Gerald Ford, born in 1950, John Gardner born in 1952, Steven Meigs, born in 1956, and Susan Elizabeth, born in 1957.


Gerald Ford was a member of several civic and fraternal organizations, including the Junior Chamber of Commerce, American Legion, AMVETS, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Sons of the Revolution, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and was an alumnus of Delta Kappa Epsilon at Michigan.


Gerald Ford received the degrees of York Rite Masonry in a special ceremony in the Oval Office on January 11,1977, during his term as President of the United States.


Gerald Ford was a member of the Shriners and the Royal Order of Jesters; both being affiliated bodies of Freemasonry.


Gerald Ford is the only person to hold the presidential office without being elected as either president or vice president.


The choice of Gerald Ford to fill the vacant vice-presidency was based on Gerald Ford's reputation for openness and honesty.


In spite of his athletic record and remarkable career accomplishments, Gerald Ford acquired a reputation as a clumsy, likable, and simple-minded everyman.


Gerald Ford has notably been portrayed in two television productions which included a central focus on his wife: the Emmy-winning 1987 ABC biographical television movie The Betty Gerald Ford Story and the 2022 Showtime television series The First Lady.