98 Facts About President Ford


President Ford was the only president never to have been elected to the office of president or vice president.

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President Ford previously served as the leader of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives, and was appointed to be the 40th vice president in 1973.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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President 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.

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

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President 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.

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In 1934, President Ford was selected for the Eastern Team on the Shriner's East–West Shrine Game at San Francisco, played on January 1,1935.

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

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

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

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President 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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President 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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President 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.

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Immediately after President Ford took the oath of office in the East Room of the White House, he spoke to the assembled audience in a speech that was broadcast live to the nation.

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On September 8,1974, 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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".

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

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

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In November 1975, President Ford adopted the global human population control recommendations of National Security Study Memorandum 200 – a national security directive initially commissioned by Nixon – as United States policy in the subsequent NSDM 314.

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

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

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President Ford Thieu resigned on April 21,1975, publicly blaming the lack of support from the United States for the fall of his country.

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

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

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President 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Bush, and Bill Clinton, President 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.

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

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

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In 1977, Ford established the Gerald R Ford Institute of Public Policy at Albion College in Albion, Michigan, to give undergraduates training in public policy.

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President 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.

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

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

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

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President 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.

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

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

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President 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".

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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That year his biological father, whom President 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 President Ford while he was waiting tables in a Grand Rapids restaurant.

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

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President Ford had previously been married and, after a five-year marriage, divorced from William Warren.

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

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President 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.

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

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

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

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President 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 President Ford Story and the 2022 Showtime television series The First Lady.

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